“The River” that dried up

“The River” that dried up

Athens, January 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

In February 2014 Stavros Theodorakis decided to leave journalism and get into politics. How could he pass on the opportunity to take advantage of the gap left by the PASOK of Evangelos Venizelos and the flow of voters to SYRIZA.

The path of Stavros Theodorakis is well known. From the radio to the television and the newspaper “Ta Nea”. He was accused of being the creation of PASOK and that his course was the result of this relationship. Perhaps most of what they accuse him of are speculations, but without lacking in truths either, which himself, intentionally or inadvertently, let them show.

There were many who, when he announced the establishment of The River, linked him with the hard core of the ruling class in Greece and the interests of the status-quo, which clearly foresaw the rise of SYRIZA.

The Greek status-quo needed a mound in the onslaught that was coming. In 2012, when SYRIZA was main opposition, he surprised the biggest part the system and caught them unprepared. PASOK had lost most of its electoral strength and DIMAR was not manageable by the status-quo.

With many elements of american marketing and information management, along with the full support from the media, the image of Stavros Theodorakis was placed somewhere at the Center, as an alternative to the onslaught of the Left, given that the civil war syndrome has not disappeared yet, even though almost 70 years have passed since then.

In its programme, The River recorded what the average Greek, updated and directed (;) by specific information networks, wanted to hear. His staff, and the electoral lists were staffed by identifiable individuals with heavy resumes.

The success in the European elections of 2014 and the elections of January 2015, with rates of 6,6% and 6% respectively, were giving the opportunity to Stavros Theodorakis to draw the new path of his creation and to become established in mind of the average voter.

But both his behaviour and the election of Fofi Genimmata as president of PASOK, began to reverse the climate.

Theodorakis’ choices in the staffing of the hard core of the party, without the approval of the co-founders and his decisions on major policy issues, brought the first friction with the party officials. The ambiguity in the ideological identity of the party, his initiatives in the negotiations of the government and the distance he created from the base, brought The River with one foot outside the House.

Since August 2015, party officials spoke of the conference and the changes that should be made in the leading team, with first and foremost Stavros Theodorakis. The references made by executives and party members for collaborations with other parties are not accidental. Their political future is uncertain now if there are no radical changes in ideological and leadership level.

SYRIZA, New Democracy and the Democratic coalition will most likely absorb The River. The party congress can not solve the serious problems that exist in its structure and all that remains for its MPs is to look at their political survival.