We talked with George Vlavianos in front of the Greek presidency, shortly after Antonis Samaras had received the mandate to form a government. He expressed his belief that there will be a cabinet as well as his hope that it would start to solve the serious problems that "society does not understand."
Mr. Vlavianos, how do you determine the election results?
I think the election results make it possible to form a cabinet. And I think it is good for the country and its present state. This has nothing to do with the election order of parties; I just think that the specific results give us a government. The country cannot survive without a government any longer. Very serious problems must be solved that I think society does not understand. This is very indicative of how difficult the situation is. I hope politicians will succeed this time, although the time and experience since 1974 suggest the opposite. But our politicians must now understand that they must deal with things in a real way and find solutions to the problems, the most serious of which is unemployment, which has reached a record rate.
Which parties do you think will participate in the government?
I think PASOK will participate. They will be able to find a way to work together very well. I feel that the Democratic Left would also support a European government in some way.
How long will such a government survive in your opinion?
I do not know. I stand behind the words of New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras during his meeting with President Papoulias that the government formed will be a long-term one.
Why have small reformist parties such as Drasi and Recreate Greece remained outside parliament?
It is because the Greeks have once again acted in terms of polarization and discord. This is one of the main problems to be solved. Traditionally, Greek society is torn in two. There are many examples from the early 20th century to the present. There was a strong polarization in these elections once again. This time it was between New Democracy and SYRIZA, which became the representatives of the two trends - memorandum and anti - memorandum. So, many votes were given to those two parties instead of to the smaller ones. This outcome had been clear almost from the outset.
It is impressive how extremes become stronger in such difficult situations. The specific phenomenon is also one of the issues that the government must consider how to resolve. It is because the extremes will not be late to act. I do not know how, but we should expect a response from them.
How do you think a cabinet not involving SYRIZA will govern? Will this give rise to protests?
That is why I am saying we should wait and see how things develop. If SYRIZA wants to govern, it means it has a plan. Otherwise, it cannot say that it would save the country.
I am also a journalist and I have no information about what the plan might be. But I am waiting to see whether it will apply this plan so that Athens will not be on fire again every other day, commercial sites will be able to work properly every day and so that there will be jobs for their employees. And to move forward based on the will of the majority of Greeks who want the country to remain within the European structures.