The past few days have been critical for Greece’s future. Events have been place quickly and we can see the twists and turns of politics at work.
On Saturday it seemed unlikely that the opposition -New Democracy- would work with Papandreou’s government to reach a coalition government to save the country from bankruptcy and also try to stay in the euro.
Exiting the euro is not a viable option for Greece. It could happen, anything is possible, but it would be the final blow to an already stagnant and weak economy and the death of opportunity and growth for the Greek people. It is not an option that anyone should be considering as a possible solution to the crisis, but as the death of a nation and an economy within the European family.
First, the two large parties promised to reach a solution before the Asian Markets would open on Monday; that did not happen. They settled for a statement committing them to work together in the short-term until elections could take place.
In reading the situation, it seems that it is the leader of New Democracy who is posturing the most, even though there is a domestic campaign under way to help him save face since he has had to go back on most of his demands and positions. There is no point in presenting him as weak and indecisive at the moment. He just needs to sign on and help work out the situation.
Samaras has had a long career of ups and downs. Of mistakes and betrayals and of comebacks. He can taste the Premiership. He is after all 8 points ahead in the current poll.
He wants an election, he wants the European support but he really doesn’t seek to take on the political cost of actually having to deal with this situation, which has only worsened under the problematic and ineffectual governance of the Papandreou government.
He is still wavering, trying to find a way, to keep the timeframe short, to keep the unpopular decisions at a minimum, to have none of his people join the actual government that will eventually be announced. He hates being in the corner and is looking for wiggle room.
In politics this is a common theme. Nobody wants to go down. They cling to power or to the dream of achieving power until it is no longer possible. Italy is currently going through a similar political crisis and Berlusconi is being pressured to resign and let others take over.
All this could be very interesting if it wasn’t so important to find a good solution quickly. This is not a soap opera though it seems like one for those who follow politics worldwide. These decisions and delays affect the future of millions of families in Greece and realistic decisions need to be reached.
I keep touching base with friends, former colleagues, my family, journalists. They all seem broken by events and tired. They don’t know how things will work out in the end and they blame the whole political spectrum for a job badly done and for their inability to just do what is necessary.
They are psychologically defeated. Some sound depressed others are just joining friends for a drink and refuse to watch the news. They are so sick of it they “don’t care”. They find that I am more animated about it than they are and wonder at my energy and interest.
I feel for them and understand how tough this is for everyone. It’s just a sin that this whole generation of politicians don’t seem to understand that their time is up. They have been used to making come backs, being literally resurrected from the political grave to seal their careers with some unimaginable position or success.
I just wish they would get it over with. What difference does it make who has the highest title in a destroyed land. They have not lived through war, death and famine. They have reigned through decades of plenty and prospects. Trying to make things happen today is far harder. You need to have the stomach for it. You need to inspire the people to follow you through dark times and still believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t bother looking at the polls. Though elections are 3-4 months aways it might as well be an eternity. Events will be so dramatic that nobody can predict the outcome in the end.