Greek Elections: The Do or Die Dilemma

The search is over. All attempts to form a government will not bear fruit. Parties and their leaders are just going through the motions until they pick the next date for the national election. It will be up to the people to cut the gordian knot and decide which path to take.

The dilemma of the next election will be as follows. Either you vote for New Democracy and we stay in the euro, avert bankruptcy, the collapse of the greek economy and the state, or you will vote for SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras knowing that bankruptcy will be imminent, salaries and pensions will not be paid, Greece will leave the euro and a period of long economic hardship will ensue.

Greek commentators and analysts are predicting that as the dilemma crystallizes, ND will probably come in first at around 25%, SYRIZA second at about 20%, PASOK will probably stay the same or lose another couple of points and so on and so forth.

There is no guarantee that after the election, a stable government will be able to be formed, but the hope is that ND will  find parties that will by then be willing to work with it to save Greece.

Is it wishful thinking? Do the polls currently taking place back this theory? Are the people willing to vote for ND though Antonis Samaras has been completely discredited for his leadership of the past 2 1/2 years? Will they be sufficiently scared of Tsipras to vote for the center-right?

I am not convinced that the Greeks will recognize this as a real dilemma.  Not because it is not a sound one, but mainly because of the terrible way it is being communicated to the public. The “do or die” approach is offensive, and aggressive. “Vote to save your pension! The rich can always find elsewhere to live!” just makes the situation harder to stomach.

Young people should be out there talking about their dreams, not the pensioners and certainly not the establishment. A more quiet, subtle yet firm presentation of the options should take place because frankly Tsipras is a much better public speaker than any of the old guard. He knows how to excite emotions and present things in a populist way, reflecting only part of the truth but making an enticing argument. He doesn’t inspire fear, but a push to take a leap of faith that will save Greece and all of Europe. If the left wins in Greece, then people all over Europe who are suffering from the austerity measures will more confidently renew their struggle against their  governments.

It is the saddest moment, when one realizes that the hopes of Greece’s survival is in the hands of the one man who made so many mistakes, personally and politically. A man that has lost any appeal to the voters, even among those who had briefly idolized him. Will Antonis Samaras  be the  guy whose luck changed even as it ran out? What will happen if the country decides to rely on him for salvation?

Unfortunately these days Greece doesn’t have a Themistocles only perhaps an Alcibiades.


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