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Even if he wins the election, Antonis Samaras will not be prime minister or leader of the "blue"

13 June 2012 / 22:06:27  GRReporter
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When the Discontented started gathering in the square last year, I was among the first to criticize them. Some even accused me of not understanding their problems. I say that, when abusing the parliament, which is an institution, or throwing yogurt at politicians, these yogurts will gradually turn into beating as happened with deputy Kostis Hadzidakis and journalist Tasos Telloglou  Will we excuse anger again then? When excusing yogurt and abuse, you are actually cancelling the dialogue. Violence will appear in the gap as you have "legalized" it without understanding it. Therefore, I was very worried when I saw the images of hangings and heard aggressive slogans. The entire political system was transformed into a universal enemy and all the Greek people were put against it. When shouting, "burn the parliament", the citizen can vote for Golden Dawn, because it promises him that it would enter it to beat. People did not vote for them because they are Nazis. The majority of them do not even know what Nazism is as an ideology. They voted for Golden Dawn because of illegal immigration, which is a matter used by many parties in a particularly negative way. The second reason was precisely the battle scenes, satisfying them. And it is because populism has taught people that "holy" anger can justify some slap in the parliament. The path of violence began quite some time ago and I fear that there may be no turning back.

Some days before the elections, it seems that SYRIZA's leader manages to better send his political messages than his main rival Antonis Samaras. What causes this in your opinion?

First, I must say that political changes happen so quickly that it is not possible to interpret the actions of a party in view of what it was even a few months ago. This is due to the mass shift of voters. This creates a two-way connection between political leaders and the electorate, but in populism, politicians follow voters rather than the opposite.

We cannot speak of SYRIZA, bearing in mind the party with an electoral vote of 5% from a year ago. Alexis Tsipras and his team realized that the percentage they won on 6 May was due to the electorate of PASOK. The majority of these people work in the public sector and are worried that they may lose their jobs. Others were against the Memorandum and could not forgive PASOK. However, they are not actually left in terms of a left communist, as are the members of the leadership of SYRIZA, i.e. part of the patriotic populist PASOK. These are the same people who left New Democracy to join Panos Kamenos’ Independent Greeks.

Alexis Tsipras’ message reaches society more easily because of the sentimental political rhetoric, which this audience was taught in the last 30-40 years. Promises that the Memorandum will be cancelled and we will teach the others, etc. are easily communicated because people want to hear just that. On the other hand, New Democracy and its leader in particular are totally unable to cope with this. And the reason is that he is inconsistent. After trying to follow this policy against the Memorandum for two years, using a similar patriotic and populist rhetoric, he has now failed to convince that he is the leader of a European political party. Antonis Samaras is simply defending himself from Alexis Tsipras. In the beginning, they even tried to do it with anti- communist rhetoric. But no one really fears that SYRIZA is a Stalinist Communist Party. This argument cannot convince anyone. I think a lot of people who will vote for New Democracy on Sunday will do it with a heavy heart, not because they want to vote for Samaras. So, I think the dynamics of developments has omitted him, and even if he wins, he will be neither prime minister nor the leader of New Democracy. We will witness major developments the day after the elections. In a strange way, not people but developments determine the evolution of things. This happened to George Papandreou. His party rejected him. Therefore, I think that New Democracy supports Antonis Samaras, simply because it failed to replace him or because it had no choice at that time. He is supported by both the voters and the party.

Under these conditions, perhaps the Democratic Alliance, from which you were a candidate, will not be eventually differentiated again. Who could be the possible leader of New Democracy?

I do not know whether the Democratic Alliance will separate again. I think it is now very difficult to make judgments. I do not know who could be the leader of New Democracy, but I believe that if the party is not willing to follow the fate of PASOK it should be reorganized. First, it should recover its centrist core, which it has lost in recent years, in order to find a leadership that will ensure that core and to also get rid of many burdens of the past. People cannot easily forgive the politicians for their "wearing out" over the years. This is Alexis Tsipras’ advantage - many people will say at the last moment before the vote, "They have no government experience."

I think the elections will form a coalition government involving New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left and the prime minister will not be Antonis Samaras. So, this will help to change the steering group in New Democracy and its development.

Yet some believe that Alexis Tsipras is gaining points with his accurate statements, while Antonis Samaras as well as other leaders are not able to do it. How would you comment on that?

Tags: PoliticsNewsSocial mediaCitizens' initiativeOpen SocietyGregory Farmakis
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