Five days after the elections Greece has no government and it seems that it cannot escape from new elections. The undisputed winner - radical left SYRIZA has managed to frighten many traditional voters of PASOK and New Democracy to consider before deciding to choose its ballot. However, the dynamics of the party is high and there are increasingly rising fears that if it manages to climb to power and fulfils all of its promises, Greece will be left to its fate, whatever that may mean for its citizens.
Meanwhile, the leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras has called on the centre-right forces to unite to form a pro-European front to oppose the anti-European far left. Will he succeed? What are the prerequisites for this and what is lying ahead of Greece? GRReporter sought the opinion of the expert in political science and international relations, and former New Democracy minister and mayor of Piraeus, Andreas Andrianopoulos.
Mr. Andrianopulos, how would you comment on the election results?
There is no doubt that the winner is the radical left SYRIZA and Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left, because they have managed to dramatically increase their rates. The losers are New Democracy, PASOK and the Communist Party. New Democracy and PASOK, because they reached the lowest voting rates that they could have, and the Communist Party, because it did not manage to play a more significant political role in this situation of radically shaking the bourgeois system.
Do you think there will be new elections and if this happens, what might the results be?
Yes, elections are quite possible because it has become clear that the parties cannot work together very well. I argued even before the elections that if we took the nominal value of what the parties were saying during the election campaign, it would be impossible to form a government because nobody agreed with anybody else.
Of course, PASOK and New Democracy have made a very accurate move. They told SYRIZA, "form a cabinet and we will give our support without participating in it." Clearly, SYRIZA is not willing to do this because they do not want to take the responsibility for governing the country. At least until they can form an independent government, capable of surviving for a certain period of time.
Therefore, the result is a standstill. The things that happened in the days when the mandate was in the hands of the leader of SYRIZA were unprecedented. I do not think there is an international precedent, in which he sets conditions instead of the others, whose support he is seeking. This is a unique phenomenon. Moreover, the conditions themselves were amazing. I think that if both major parties had accepted them, he would have set new ones. I just do not see a desire for consensus.
The worst thing is that even if there were new elections, in which SYRIZA’s strength would certainly grow, it would not be able to form an independent government. Therefore, we will be facing almost the same problem. I really do not see how we could get out of this impasse.
On the other hand, the centre-right, liberal, I would say, space of logic is required to reorganize and unite. Not under the wing of New Democracy, because it is already outdated. Perhaps this should be done within a new political formation with a new leadership to be able to make a wild European "counterattack." Otherwise, the country will certainly be destroyed. If liberal forces had united before the elections, now they would have between 8-16 members and the country would not be facing the danger of having no government.
How would you comment on the rumours that the centre-right forces could unite under the leadership of Costas Karamanlis?
My opinion is that Costas Karamanlis failed as prime minister, as he made tragic mistakes. Furthermore, I do not know whether he himself would like to undertake this task. Ultimately, if he were interested he would not withdraw from the leadership of New Democracy.
Do you think that the attempt of uniting could be successful?
I do not know. But having in mind the way it was announced, certainly not. In order for this to happen, all parties should take the initiative not only Antonis Samaras. I think he is significantly responsible for the impasse in the pro-European space. Because he insisted on holding the elections. He divided New Democracy into five pieces with his policies. Furthermore, he made a series of strategic mistakes before the elections. Antonis Samaras, therefore, cannot act as the pole around which all the others will unite. My opinion is that a new party needs to be established, with a new leader from the new generation of politicians.
Andreas Andrianopoulos analyzed the statements of the parties that have won from the rhetoric against the memorandum of economic aid and described what their practical application would mean for Greece.
"The proposals of the so-called "front against the memorandum" are completely irrational and beyond any logic. When I hear them say that, we can leave the Memorandum and break the payments without having any problems inside the country I just shudder at the thought.
As we all know, from the next tranche to Greece to the amount of 5.2 billion euro, they decided to pay only 4 billion euro, which is money for creditors. The remaining 1.2 billion are intended for domestic needs. Therefore, if we decided to oppose the loan contract and the loans to Greece stopped, they would lose not only the money that we would pay to creditors, but a lot of money needed for the internal functioning of the country. And the example of the next tranche shows this very clearly.