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The tripartite coalition will not disintegrate easily

02 October 2012 / 21:10:39  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Yiannis Koutsomitis is a director and a film producer. At the same time, he closely monitors the political and economic developments in Greece and is one of the leading commentators on social media. He commented on the results of the first 100 days of the government for the readers of GRReporter as well as on the changes in the Greek public opinion, the illegal immigration, the media and the film about Mohammed that sparked wild protests and violence in many Muslim countries.

Mr. Koutsomitis, the first 100 days of government passed a week ago. Which of the things that had to be done were done, and which were not?

As you know, it was particularly hard for the three parties with different ideologies to unite around a common programme. The main factor for this was the real possibility for Greece to end up outside the euro zone and therefore, outside the European Union. There is a problem, of course. All three parties had described in their election campaigns things very different from those they could actually implement. Now, they are in a very difficult position from a political point of view: All three leaders have been forced to abandon their campaign promises.

The truth is that some changes in the reorganization of the problematic public sector have been initiated: the Ministry of Development has signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank to open the funding programmes, mergers and closures of government offices have been announced and other similar acts. The problem is that the public sector is actually "frozen". Unofficially, it has stopped the payments to individuals and private companies. So, the whole country is awaiting the big tranche of 31.5 billion euro under the bailout agreement in order for life to continue consistently. This means that some things were done, but others cannot be done, because they depend entirely on the, now notorious, negotiations with the supervisory Troika.

Do you think that the governing coalition will endure? Do centripetal or centrifugal forces prevail in it?

It depends on the outcome of the negotiations. If the summit in Brussels on 19 October or later is positive for Greece, if the tranche is paid, we are able to reschedule our debt and the problem of Greece’s remaining in the euro zone is resolved in the longer term, then the coalition can last for a long time. In this case, things will stabilize to a certain degree.

Clearly, this sharp reduction in the standard of living will cause reactions. I do not know if any of the three parties will try to force the other two and trigger early elections. However, history and the past have shown us that those who brinjg about early elections may lose from this. So, I think that if the developments are positive for Greece, the next elections in the country will be the European elections in 2014.

However, if the result is negative, if there are problems or the solution is still inconclusive, there will be very serious shocks. One of them is the possible fall of the government and the resignation of the Prime Minister would possibly cause it. There are two solutions in this case: Early elections or a caretaker government. I would like to completely exclude the third option, which is outside the framework of the constitution. Unfortunately, we cannot rule it out completely these days. I do not mean only the publication in To Vima newspaper, but the real possibility of destabilization in the event that Greece defaults.

According to polls, Golden Dawn seems to be the third political force in the country. What is the reason for its upsurge and what could this bring?

I think there are three reasons. The first reason is the change in the daily lives of people in large urban centres, which was caused by the arrival of large numbers of immigrants. Government services have failed to deal with this phenomenon so that it does not affect so dramatically the lives of citizens. Golden Dawn found this gap in the functioning of public authorities and other parties and it has taken advantage of it. No party has submitted a proposal to actually solve the problem. In fact, what Golden Dawn offers cannot be applied either. Since a legitimate way of how these people could return to their countries has not yet been escogitated, the only logical solution in their minds is to load illegal immigrants onto ships and then sink them in the sea.

The second reason is that bourgeois parties are no longer winning the people's confidence. Many people ignored the ideology of Golden Dawn - it has attracted them with the rhetoric that it is against the system, whatever that may mean for each person individually. The majority of people believe that the system is to blame for the destruction of the country and the consequences for the individuals. So, a party that is actually outside the system appears as a response to the shabby and corrupt parties, which bear the blame for the present state of Greece.

The third reason is the political activism of the members of Golden Dawn. They help the elderly, give away free food and provide protection to people who have no other support. This is due again to the lack of action by the state, which is required to watch over the security of citizens, to take care of the elderly and help the needy.

Golden Dawn’s actions remind me of a combination of Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan. They have obviously studied the modus operandi of these organizations, and how they managed to get close to large social groups.

Tags: PoliticsSocietyTripartite coalitionProtestsYiannis Koutsomitis
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