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The Greek dilemma on the upcoming elections

28 April 2012 / 23:04:29  GRReporter
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During the last week before the crucial clash on May 6, the leaders of both major parties PASOK and New Democracy will pose serious dilemmas before their constituencies. Antonis Samaras will pose the question of danger of possible anarchy, and who could negotiate the loan agreement again and ensure public support, without risking the country's European Union membership. Evangelos Venizelos, in turn, will address the country's need to have a stable government after the elections, and will pose the question of where the "criminal" vote might lead. In any case, the opposition between Venizelos and Samaras will be limited to parallel speeches and interviews, since the “TV arm wrestling” attempt, involving leaders of other parties, has been a complete failure.

In particular there are four dilemmas posed by the leader of PASOK. First, as mentioned, is the country’s need for a government. The continuation of the country’s “European perspective”, is the second dilemma posed by Evangelos Venizelos. According to him, the possible victory of forces, which hypocritically want rejection of the memorandum, will automatically lead Greece out of the Eurozone and the European Union.

This raises another key issue, namely, who can represent the country in the European Union as a most reliable partner. According to associates of the leader of PASOK, in the nine months during which Venizelos was negotiating with Europe as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, he has proven in practice that he is capable of doing this.

The third dilemma relates to the main proposal made by each of the major players, who aspire to power. According to analysis, the first major player is New Democracy, with its insistence to govern by itself and the formulation of inapplicable political programmes, will lead to an unrealistic and vague future. The second major player is composed of a front of unknown political origin, which is against the memorandum, and more or less "wants to get the money without any commitments”. The third major player is PASOK, which is apparently the only political formation that has a chance to enter the political central space. From this position in the middle of the political spectrum, PASOK can reach a bi-directional solution, unlike New Democracy, which is "encapsulated" in the strategy to mitigate losses, arising from the right space.

The fourth and most important dilemma is the choice between an emotional vote and a vote which is a result of logical thought.  PASOK emphasize that they understand the anger of voters, but urge them to realize that after the election there is a specific path that must be followed, and this can only be done by reliable political forces.

For its part, New Democracy seeks to regain voters, who have left them in order to support various leftist and rightist political parties and to maximize the mobilization of its electorate.

The aim is to alleviate the moods for the "criminal" vote of citizens, which leader Samaras will try to do through the dilemmas posed by New Democracy. The phrase "self government" has disappeared from the political vocabulary of Samaras, but the danger of anarchy and the need for "political stability" have reigned in his public appearances recently. The main dilemmas are two and they relate to the economy and to securing public support, which is equally important for the leader of New Democracy. In regards to the first, Samaras will urge voters to choose a person, who can renegotiate the memorandum without endangering the country, by using moods in Europe that question his effectiveness.

Dilemmas will be posed also before voters, who choose based on other criteria, not just a "memorandum – anti-memorandum”. "Who can apply the things that the country needs? New Democracy or a small party of protest?", emphasizes at every opportunity Samaras and presents the programme of New Democracy on security, health, education and institutional change, announced a few days ago in Zappeio. At the centre of New Democracy it is believed that posing these issues will contribute significantly to the "return" of voters, who have shown a tendency to move to the right of the party, as well as attracting some of the electorate, who are facing difficulties in their daily lives.

After the presentation of the economic programme and after former Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis appeared twice, the leadership of New Democracy imply that there is obvious improvement in the image of the party. Yesterday, Samaras visited the hometown of the founder of the party Konstantinos Karamanlis - Seres, and next Wednesday during a speech in Thessaloniki present the former Prime Minister will also be present.

Earlier Samaras visited Kavala and the oil platforms in Prinos-Thassos, thereby symbolically expressing his decision that the country will do everything necessary for oil and natural gas production in all the Greek seas. Kavala Oil JSC's President Vassilis Papas gave Samaras a comprehensive study for exploitation of the deposits.

On May 1, Samaras will present in Lavrio the government programme of New Democracy on unemployment. Lavrio is a region with particularly high unemployment.

For his part, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos sharply criticized Euro-sceptics and urged citizens to protect the benefits of European unification.

Papademos’ political speech from the rostrum, at the event organized by the three major export associations in Greece (Hellenic Association of Exporters, Association of Exporters from Northern Greece and the Association of Exporters from Crete) was of particular importance since it was made only nine days before the elections.

"The majority of Greek people know and recognize the essential, multilateral and lasting benefits of European integration and the Euro for our country. We must protect them, especially after the calls of the Euro-sceptics", stressed the Prime Minister, adding that since joining the Eurozone Greece has not benefited sufficiently from the opportunities of the Single Market.

Moreover, for the second time in a week, Papademos urged banks to play their key role in the Greek economy, stressing that they must support the export sector.

Lucas Papademos noted that the Greek economy will start recovering in the second half of 2013 and that by the end of 2012 two thirds of the country’s lost competitiveness will be regained compared to levels in 2000, whereas in 2013 it will be restored completely.

Tags: PASOK New Democracy Greece elections Samaras Venizelos Papademos
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