by Spiros Goutzanis
It may be that Alexis Tsipras and his executives proclaim, in each of their public appearances, that their aim is a total overthrow of the outcome of the European elections, but de facto the most crucial thing at stake in the national elections of July 7 is the standalone government of New Democracy. Besides, in the closed meetings, even the members of SYRIZA talk more about preventing ND from forming a standalone government, something that will allow them to have an increased role and voice in the political game the next day (after the elections).
The election in numbers
ND, for its part, considers that self-sufficiency is a realistic goal and this is also reflected in its basic motto “Strong Growth – Self-Sufficient Greece”. Its pollsters believe that starting with 33.2% from the European elections, it can approach 38% – 40% and increase the chances. With the electoral law that’s in force, the first party gets a bonus of 50 seats, and the remaining 250 are allocated proportionally and so, in order to be in a position to form a standalone government, a party needs 40.4%. But it is also true, and this is decisive, that for every 1% left outside the House, the required percentage for self-sufficiency decreases by 0.4%.
According to the results of the European elections, where 21% were left out of parliament, ND would have gained self-reliance with the percentage of 33.2% that it obtained. Of course, this possibility is ruled out for the national elections, where the polarization and the stake of the next four-year governance decreases the percentages of the smaller parties. The fact that the general political climate is pushing for the strengthening of the big parties and at the same time the disappearance of the very small ones from the political map, contributes to this direction.
Already, To Potami, ANEL, Union of Centrists, but also LAE and “Plefsi Eleftherias” have been wiped out. Given that in every case KKE, KINAL and Golden Dawn will get into parliament, the game of forming a standalone government will ultimately be judged by whether and with what percentages, the party Day 25 by Yannis Varoufakis and Mr. Velopoulos’ party Greek Solution, will enter parliament.
The game with the “small players”
The systemic media is showing the way, with the sudden love they show for Mr. Varoufakis and his party, whom for the last four years whenever they mentioned him it was to remind us of the destruction he brought to the country with his policies in the first half of the year 2015, and which, according to their calculations, and those of Regling and Wieser, 100 billion euros. His party, if it passes the 3% threshold and gains seats in the next parliament, it could prevent ND – which the media support – from forming a standalone government, but it also achieves its second goal of cutting down SYRIZA’s decline, as Day 25 draws voters from the same centre-left tank.
On the contrary, the Media is not at all friendly with Kyriakos Velopoulos, although it also draws its voters from the “tank” of Golden Dawn, because it can potentially limit the flow of right-wing voters towards ND. But with the momentum it gained in the European elections, it is unlikely his party will be left out of parliament. Besides, in every electoral contest some of the dying smaller parties manage to get in.
The next day
Alexis Tsipras, now calm after the shock of the European elections, prepares his battle plans for the national elections and, at the same time, the strategy of the next four years as the main opposition. The question is to what extent he will integrate the Progressive Alliance into SYRIZA or whether he will make the big decision to form a new party. As he is only 45 years old and has already been a prime minister, he is not in a rush, he will have time to prepare for his return. His aim is to express authentically and completely the wider centre-left space. This will also depend, of course, on KINAL and its attitude towards the governance of ND, in other words whether it will participate or, if ND has the self-sufficient majority, what kind of opposition it will be.
The governmental headaches
Mitsotakis, on the other hand, has other problems. To what extent will his hands be free for him to implement his neo-liberal reforms from the first month of governance. The party base supports him in order to be over with SYRIZA and for him to return to power, but it does not take at all positively his announcements. Perhaps this is why Mr. Mitsotakis has already begun the soothing assurances that he will not hurt SYRIZA’s benefits.
The second bet for Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to elect new faces in parliament, in order to have the majority in the parliamentary group. Here again, the supporters of the Karamanlis fraction are losing power, but Antonis Samaras struggled to pass as many of his own as possible, and of course continues to fight so that they can be elected.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis seems to have cleared the game with the old generation of Barons. Vangelis Meimarakis has been sent to the European Parliament, Antonis Samaras will also be sent to Brussels as Commissioner and Vice-President of the Commission. With Dora Bakoyannis he clarified that under no circumstances will she be a minister, while Kostas Karamanlis does not cause him any problems.
Besides, for the former prime minister and favourite of the party base, the discussion for the presidency of the Republic is open, as he also has the acceptance of a part of SYRIZA. Such a choice would be a message of consensus to all by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, while the choice of Samaras-which he has not abandoned-will be polarizing and divisive./ibna