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The liberal space in Greece unites

03 December 2012 / 14:12:45  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Almost all political trends are present in today's Greek Parliament: right and extreme right, left and extreme left, communists and xenophobes, who praise Nazism.
However, there is no party representing the political centre and the forces of reform in Greece in particular. Their absence from the Parliament is more than palpable: While austerity measures are being applied in the country and the number of unemployed is now 1.5 million, the reforms that could raise the national economy are languishing. At the same time, two of the three coalition partners, New Democracy and PASOK, continue to pat on the back the public workers they have appointed to the detriment of everyone else.

This is the large gap between the forces of populism on both sides of the political spectrum and the political parties, movements and associations that participated in the open congress of the liberal Drassi party seek to fill it.

"We are entering a new era. Reforms are our only bright future," said the vice-president of the party, Antigone Lyberaki, in her address to the participants. She urged them to put aside the things that divide them, to turn their criticism of the present government into a stronger political voice and to join their efforts to create a "unified voice of reformist political centre."

The professor of economics at the Panteion University stressed the need for the drawing up a national programme for economic recovery to be implemented after the memoranda of economic aid as well as a general programme of reforms.

Commenting on Drassi’s failure to enter Parliament in three consecutive election races the former president of the party, Stefanos Manos, defined the Greek voters as "addicted to falsehood and corruption." He called on all reformist forces to join forces, "because the country needs your union." "We have no time left. Greece is in danger," he warned.

In their speeches, the representatives of different political formations presented their positions on the future political union, the main points being implementing deep reforms, a constitutional reform, strengthening the protection of human rights and personal freedoms, broad citizen participation in determining the political positions, establishing a new political language and drawing up an "emergency" plan for the future of Greece.

The representative of the centre-left party "Dynamic Greece" expressed his belief that the reformers in Greece would join, but not in a single party. Others set conditions, but the majority supported the position that the things between them were not and should not be the key point in such a hard moment for Greece.

The policy of the government, which "does not stand firmly behind the reforms" and the position of the radical left SYRIZA, which is leading in the polls, were subject to negative comments.
We have switched from the lifestyle kitsch to the kitsch of revolution. The writer Christos Homenidis summarized the abrupt change in Greek society after the height of the crisis with the phrase: "We have switched from the lifestyle kitsch to the kitsch of revolution."

Equally critical was the independent deputy Theodoros Skylakakis: "For a long time, we have been living under the dictatorship of the insolent, the seemingly successful people and lifestyle. The time has come for the other Greece to make its revolution."

"We cannot want them to believe us, just because others are worse. We must present our political positions to the people and forget the separation between us. How many are we, the progressive people and reformers in Greece, in order to allow ourselves to be divided?" the young Konstantinos Alexakos asked the participants.

Indicative of the unpopularity of liberalism and neoliberalism, which the vast majority of Greeks consider something very bad and vicious, was the fact that they were not present in the speeches of most representatives.

The terms sounded clearly in the speeches of both Members of European Parliament from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Cecilia Wikström and Sophie in't Veld, who welcomed in Greek the creation of a united liberal party.

"The frame is only one: Political liberalism and a state – inspector rather than a player," the former professor at Columbia University and today's business consultant George Prokopakis summed up the aim in a few words. For a long time, we have been living under the dictatorship of the insolent, the seemingly successful people and lifestyle. The time has come for the other Greece to make its revolution.
Regarding the future party leadership, various solutions were also proposed. The vast majority of the participants in the congress supported a wider leadership rather than the concentration of all powers in one person. "But the moment our political system operates under these rules, I think that the mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, is ideally suited to lead the party," offered actor Antonis Kafedzopoulos who said he would participate in it unconditionally.

Tags: PoliticsLiberalsDrassiOpen congressNew political partyReformersStefanos ManosAntigone Lyberaki
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