Athens, April 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
With Political fermentations in the Center space, with discussions on the creation of a single body that would stand united against SYRIZA and New Democracy, continuing, from the Patriotic Right came the birth of the new party of Giorgos Karatzaferis and Takis Baltakos.
The President of LAOS, Giorgos Karatzaferis and former Secretary of the Samaras government, Takis Baltakos, joined forces in a new right, patriotic, eurosceptic party. The aim of the new party is to attract traditional voters of the Right, who either abstain from the last election or have chosen the Independent Greeks of Panos Kammenou and the Golden Dawn. In the background, of course, they eye the voters of New Democracy, who with the election of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a neo-liberal Center-right leader, have lost the link with the patriotic Right of Constantine Karamanlis founder.
The new name of the party, “National Unity”, an old title of the magazine that was published in the late 60s, by the advocate of monarchy MP of ERE Giorgos Plytas, shows the intentions of the founders of the new party.
What’s more, the logo of the party has elements from older logos of Right and Far-right formations. The torch has been used by the dictatorship of Metaxas in 1936, as well as the New Democracy, while the glory laurels have also been used by the Metaxas dictatorship, the military dictatorship of 1967, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) and the Golden Dawn. It is reasonable for one to see connotations of affinity between the parties.
The National Unity is based on old elements, which have failed in politics. This is shown by the election result both of LAOS of Giorgos Karatzaferis and the dismissal of Takis Baltakos from the Samaras government for his cooperation with the Golden Dawn.
But how easy is for National Unity to attract voters from the political spaces of New Democracy, ANEL and the Golden Dawn? What do they expect at their party for the next day?
The ideological ambiguity behind the founding declaration of a clear Right, anti-memorandum and eurosceptic party leaves the room to attract voters.
Those belonging to the patriotic right of ND could be attracted by the National Unity, as Kyriakos Mitsotakis belong ideologically to a more liberal center-right party. The Independent Greeks, who took the part of the patriotic right, lost contact with several of the voters for their participation in the government with the Left SYRIZA, and some of them may stand behind the the new party. The Golden Dawn on the other hand is the hard face of the Far-right, which was used by many voters as a reactionary vote against the Memoranda, however the racist behavior and criminal actions of several of its most prominent members, are driving voters towards more “light” forms of Right policy.
The electoral body has the capacity to offer votes to the National Unity, but no one knows the extent of this offer and if it will be enough to put the party in the House.
But the descent of National Unity in any election will cause pressure on the New Democracy, which wants to win the next election and of course not to lose voters. How will it accomplish this however?
One way is for ND to open a dual front, both against SYRIZA and against National Unity, but this would weaken the strategy and the forces of the opposition party.
The other way is for the two parties to cooperate, in a bid for ND to win the election. Something similar was done by the party created by Dora Bakoyanni, which function was eventually suspended, after her cooperation in the elections of 2012 with the ND of Antonis Samaras.
This is perhaps the most likely scenario for the next day of the new Right-wing party. The liquidity in the political landscape, prevalent in both the Right and the Center space, does not allow for safe predictions. Only time will tell the future of all of these ventures.