OP/ED: Political leaders held hostages, society in despair

OP/ED: Political leaders held hostages, society in despair

By Spiros Sideris

At a time when Greek society is looking to the political leaderships, and especially the leaders of the parties, coalition and opposition, to manage a crisis like no other in the world, they see leaders trapped in the micropolitics of party mechanisms, unfortunately proving their inadequacy.

The leaders of the political parties, without vision, plan and willingness to lead Greece to a necessary deep and multilevel reconstruction focused on the people and their needs, are consumed in what they can manage; the micro-politics and the intra party rivalries, leaving citizens and society in despair.

What transpired in the first days of the new year, came to confirm emphatically the inadequacy of the leaders of the country’s political formations to safely lead the citizens through the health crisis and its consequences in economy, work, education, social justice.

The latest, only in name, reshuffle of the Mitsotakis Government, highlighted the inability of the Prime Minister to decide that which is defined as his responsibility; that is the appointment and dismissal of members of his government.

A simple reading of the changes in the members of the Government shows shyness, dependence on political and business interests, alienation from the reality of the citizens. With the new composition of the government, the hard right was strengthened, exceeding the limits of the extreme right. Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is officially the policy maker of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as more than five ministers, as well as the three parliamentary representatives of the party are affiliated to him. Accidental? Probably not.

The moderate wing of New Democracy is absent from the Government, while the other former Prime Minister and spokesman for the party’s large base, Kostas Karamanlis, does not seem to have a substantial say in the government.

With his eyes on the elections, which will take place when he decides, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is trying to unite the hard core of the right and extreme right of his society and party, while following the neoliberal agenda imposed on him (?) by the business centers that support him in more ways than one.

Hostage of the political balances, in a party he does not define, and of business circles to which he has promised “the moon” in order to have their support, Kyriakos Mitsotakis already looks like – if not already – a puppet in the political scene.

On the other hand, the leader of the Main Opposition and former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, tries, a year and a half after the defeat of SYRIZA in July 2019 by New Democracy, to find his opposition pace and reorganize his party. Alas in vain.

It took more than six months to analyze the causes of the defeat in the elections, finally confirming that the SYRIZA minority wants an enclosed self-referential political formation, narcissistic, completely ignorant of social reality, with an interest in focusing on issues that are not the main problems of society. Even the changes that Tsipras attempted in the organs of the party looked more like a settlement of tendencies and groups, than a renewal and assignment of blame to those members that led the party to an electoral defeat.

Even all the initiatives taken by Alexis Tsipras in opposition to the really problematic government of New Democracy, were canceled by moves and statements of party officials, thus weakening the already weak profile of the Main Opposition leader.

The President of SYRIZA, who was undoubtedly the main person responsible for launching the party to power, is being held hostage by micro-political interests, ideological tendencies and questionable adequacy of members, moving away from the dominant issues of the citizens. Moreover, not only the rhetoric but also the policy of SYRIZA, and its President, has lost its freshness, its vision, its plan for a new government, undermining enlargement and hindering its evolution.

In the other party of the center-left, KINAL, its leader Fofi Gennimata, tries to keep herself in the leadership of a divided party, a ghost of his glorious past, trying desperately to maintain a balance between the right and left wing, with the sole aim of preventing the party from dissolving and not to serve the citizens, hostage to the vanity of its President.

Finally, the other traditional parliamentary party, the Greek Communist Party (KKE), remains firmly committed to the politics and rhetoric of another era, a hostage of the fear of facing the present./ibna