Memo to Papandreou: Exit stage left

In all my years in politics, I have never listened to such an outrageous speech especially in a time of such serious crisis.  PM Papandreou just finished his speech to his parliamentary group explaining the events of the past few days and why he is asking for their vote of confidence on Friday. The speech was insulting to Parliament and especially to the Greek people. Papandreou opened a Pandora’s box all by himself. First he asked for a referendum and a vote of confidence. He did that to show citizens that he “respects them and trusts them”, but now that nobody wants it (in politics that is and in Europe), he took it back following a shocked world reaction — which in his words was a “global dialogue on the issue.”

Then he spoke about how well his government has performed in the last two years; how they saved Greece from bankruptcy; how they need to work with other political parties to move forward.

And naturally he is not resigning, even though the opposition has clearly asked for a transition government of non-politicians who will vote on the meassures and then lead the country to a general election before Christmas. Papandreou has no place in the system anymore. He wavered, he delayed, he lost at game theory more than once. He led Greece closer to the abyss. How can he cling to the Premiership is beyond anyone’s understanding.

I have heard of trying to spin a bad outcome, but this was outright fiction. It is dangerous, it is irresponsible and I fear for the worst.

Greece has gone from a country of 5% growth rates, member of the eurozone,  full of hope and optimism to a country faced with abject poverty, social upheaval and decades of misery. I hope Parliament shows the courage to alter the situation because if the vote goes smoothly, the opposition doesn’t cooperate, the referendum is shelved and they try to pass the measures without an election, not only will Greece not get the money it needs but the next strikes will be more violent and massive. Already, I am monitoring people’s chat on facebook and they are outraged and fed up with the hypocricy of the system.

PS: Papandreou’s speech provoked the wrath of the head of the leading opposition party president Andonis Samaras who refuses to support him unless he resigns immediately. Members of Parliament from the ruling party were set to withhold their support from Friday’s confidence vote.

In Papandreou’s late night rebuttal he repositioned himself in view of reactions. He now claims that he would be willing to resign  and agree to an interrim government and early elections, but wants to begin talks while insiting on getting vote of confidence on Friday.

This is a new spin on events. Papandreou claims that negotiations could take long to agree on a transition government.

It could be that he may have dodged tomorrow’s bullet- namely the parliamentary vote but people are not buying this new spin.

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