Mitsotakis: Stuck in intraparty opposition

Mitsotakis: Stuck in intraparty opposition

Athens, August 8, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

In terms of communication the government appears to be somewhat lacking. Trends in the various Syriza factions, a bit of amateurism in the communication departments of the ministries and the more or less targeted war by the media to the government and its work all contrive in the latter – however small or large – vanishing in a hearbeat.

One might think that a structured and experienced party such as New Democracy, having a large part of the media at least close to it if not beside it, would the failures and disharmony shown by the government and Syriza to wear them down politically. The same applies to PASOK, of course, but it has has diminished so much as a party that any of its efforts are ridiculed and it is exposed in the eyes of the citizens irreparably.

In recent months the main opposition has embarked on an effort to degrade government policy, supported by the systemic media that are faltering. Scandals over scandals have appeared involving the government; however they are all shot down in no time, proven as false. Is this naivety and inexperience on behalf of New Democracy or are some deliberately eating away at Kyriacos Mitsotakis’s efforts to become Prime Minister?

For his part the President of the conservative party appears to care more about his internal party issues than actual politics. He knows very well, since various officials remind him in their public interventions, that he faces a strong intraparty opposition. Three former leaders of the ND party with two being former Prime Ministers are members of the parliamentary group of the party.

Following the latest developments with the prosecution for ELSTAT intentionally inflating the deficit under the Papandreou administration, Costas Karamanlis is winning points and maybe it is time he speaks, something Mr. Mitsotakis does not want. It is clear that the former PM maintains a solid group of supporters inside the party and the acceptance of much of the ND electoral base.

Antonis Samaras, has sworn friends and sworn enemies within the party. The Policital Spring party he established in 1993 remains active inside New Democracy having penetrated all party bodies. His “friends” know how to wait and act in his favor in extreme conditions. He himself believes that History owes him a second chance and he will go after it when the time comes.

Finally Vangelis Meimarakis, although he became leader under specific circumstances, is considered one of the genuine exponents of the popular right and he rallies around him a small but dynamic part of the ND base that may not have the power to make Meimarakis leader but it can dramatically influence any developments that arise in the center-right party.

The landscape is volatile for the leader of ND. Uncertainty about the future of his leadership, forces him many times to follow policies and communication practices that do not fit his temperament and ideological background, thus losing the ability to defend them sufficiently and without mistakes.

The choice that was “imposed” in him, to demand elections, has politically trapped him to the utmost, taking away the chance of him leading the effort to refresh the party and address the people with a new political face, as a counterweight to the still “new” Alexis Tsipras, in political terms.

Of course he knows much better what he wants to do and how he plans to run for the premiership. But time passes and it is not only wearing down the ruling coalition but himself too in the manner that he is excercising an old fashioned opposition.