eKathimerini has an interesting article on the potential of the three political parties, New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left, joining to to make a coalition government. The election result has again not given any party outright control and as such only a coalition can result in a ruling entity in Greece.
The Greek election result shouldn’t have surprised anyone.
Why anyone would expect that the people’s choice would have changed significantly in just over a month baffles me. The results did vary but not enough to give anyone an outright majority.
New Democracy and its leader Mr Samaras, increased its overall percentage of voters, enough to give it the numbers to form a coalition government. However still, the only way it acheive this is if the two major opposing political forces work out a very strange political marriage. Old and bitter foes joining forces for the “good of the country”.
A lot of us will call it for what it really is. A marriage of convenience.
Many will concur that the New Democracy and PASOK marriage was inevitable due to the drop of support for both parties. PASOK in particular has been reduced to a “small party” and only has some life in it because New Democracy doesn’t have enough seats to rule on its own. Also because there are only three parties willing to form a coalition.
The eKathimerini article goes into some detail about these negotiations between the three parties.
I would like to highlight one key point in the article. PASOK’s leader Mr Venizelos has agreed to discuss a coalition government but insists that SYRIZA needs to partake in order to form a united political force to front up to Europe.
SYRIZA managed a historical electoral swing and gained the second highest percentage of votes both in the May and June elections. Its leader Mr Tsipras has been a strong advocate for renegotiation with Europe on the memorandum and the austerity measures that have been put in place in order to appease Europe to receive an economic bailout. Although at one point many thought he would win enough of the votes to form his own coalition and leading Greece in its next phase, he now wants to be a strong opposition force to keep Mr Samaras to his election campaign promises.
Personally I see this as the easy way out for Mr Tsipras.
If he truly had a vision and an agenda then why wouldn’t he accept to join this “bi-partisan” government and force his opinions and ideals within a governing coalition? To potentially have enough political weight to make the government take actions now while he has stirred the political pot domestically and across Europe.
Why accept to fight as an opposition force?
The one explanation is that he may want to see Mr Samaras fail to impress the Greek people and potentially win the next elections. One could argue that this is the stance of someone simply wanting to fulfill his personal aspirations rather than for the best of his troubled citizens. If this his strategy, and he believes that Mr Samaras will not serve the people well, then is he not sitting back to watch the Greek people suffer more in order to gain his political victory?
Please feel free to comment and contribute.
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