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Politics is the art of the possible

26 July 2012 / 12:07:59  GRReporter
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Therefore, we liberals have decided to remind peopleabout the Renaissance and to introduce all trends of liberalism, which stems from very conservative representatives and ends up at anarchistic ones, and to feed Greeks' thoughts on thinkers and brave decisions. One of our most serious projects is the liberalist library, where discussions with representatives of various political trends take place, in order to find answers to various questions. This autumn, we are going to start a series of monthly discussions, at which very serious political and social issues will be discussed, because we believe that the best way to capitalize on the result from the selection outcome is to break some taboo subjects and to make some thing clear. This round of events will be entitled "The King is Naked" and will include the introduction of books by many different authors. 

Do you think the liberal idea, at a certain moment, can be accepted by a big part of the society?

I think discussions about the nature of liberalism are being held at the moment inside SYRIZA, inside PASOK , inside New Democracy and inside the Democratic Left. This has started because awareness of globalization and adaptation to communication show that in politics there is a simple criterion. It is that politics is the art of the possible. Therefore, people should be able to look around and see which are the countries and societies that function and to choose those similar to which they want to live in. Like the people in Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, USA., etc. Thus it becomes clear that the people in Greece have to come back down to earth and take advantage of the incredible opportunity we have - to compare the situation in different countries and to estimate what suits us. Given the resources at our disposal it is very easy to tell everyone that this liberal society is the one we want to live in and that this is the way of living, in the final reckoning, of the people who live better than us.

The example of the Greeks who emigrate is cynical, bearing in mind how difficult this is. Isn't it very logical? They go to countries such as Germany, Canada, Australia, the USA. Well, how do these countries function? Well, this discussion has already started in Greece.

In the elections on 6 May 1.8 per cent of the electorate voted for us. This is the hard core of the people who understand what we are saying. They, if you like, are very brave too, because the Liberal Alliance brought forward all taboo subjects in Greek society: the economy, education, human rights, ethics, etc. These are things that other parties are afraid to touch upon, because when they do, they hide them. Our position on the dispute over Macedonia's name is one of them. It is shared by both SYRIZA and the Democratic Left as well as by Drasi, but only we have the courage to answer specific questions in a real way.

Therefore I think that we are obliged to continue what we started, without hurrying. We have a lot of educational work before us. Political, but also educational and very pleasant as well. Our experience from the elections showed that we are credible, but a big change is needed.

What was the experience of the Liberal Alliance from the two electoral contests?

Before the elections on 6 May we worked to create a broad liberal front. Thus we talked with Dora Bakoyianni's Democratic Alliance, ReCreate Greece, the Democrats, Drasi, with which we had cooperation earlier as well, with other formations such as the Social Union of George Floridis, leftist intellectuals, etc. In practice, we entered into a coalition with Drasi. With others we didn't manage to, although we wanted to. This was also the first time we needed to hold discussions on ideological issues with potential partners. We found differences, but nevertheless insisted on a coalition, because it was the will of the people: Unity both at the right and the left end of the political spectrum. Our collaboration with Drasi was very useful and valuable and I think I had the huge chance to be the last political ally of Stefanos Manos at the end of his long political career.

The second elections on 17 June were a fiasco for us because, on the one hand Drasi betrayed us, and on the other, the behaviour of ReCreate Greece towards us was immoral. I know that these are serious things, which, by the way, I am saying for the first time. It is simply not possible on the one hand to say that you are entering into a coalition with another party and on the other to refuse to put its representatives in elective positions in ballot-papers. This is not cooperation. Also, you cannot enter into a coalition with a party whose leader you directly offend and at each appearance on television you behave as if this cooperation does not exist. After that we found ideological differences as well. This created a lot of problems for us because it is difficult to concentrate your voters, when you have so many differences with your coalition partner.

Of course, we will sit again at the negotiating table with everyone, but now we know who is who.

Grigoris Vallianatos presented the position of the Liberal Alliance in several of the most politically charged issues of tension, which are constantly evaded by the other parties. One of them is the Cyprus problem. A few days ago, a comment of his on Facebook, that the Turkish invasion of the island has been agreed between Greece and Turkey, provoked an intense discussion.

The Cyprus problem

Tags: Politics Liberal Alliance Grigoris Vallianatos taboo topics human rights minorities
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