Antonis Samaras is a man that led Greece in most troubling times. His most recent electoral defeat in January opened the doors to a new government led by the radical left party, SYRIZA and the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The Tsipras government, no matter how you spin it, is attempting to change Greece in a way that is not in line with European ideals.
Though Samaras lost the elections, his party’s arrogance, certainty, and worst-campaign-strategy-in-history (an award we are happy to confer) was not the only loss-maker for Greece.
Former PM, and former family heir to social party, PASOK, George Papandreou split the Socialists by announcing his new political party on the eve of the January election, a move that blew up in his face spectacularly. The ultra-right party, Golden Dawn, came third, and is has the third largest representation in the Greek Parliament having won 6.3% at the elections (obviously the democracy-inspiring Greeks were venting anger). Former journalist Stavros Theodorakis founded his new party on the amazing concept of not having any political line. This ‘apolitical’ party which hosts politicians from all political families, shows just how foul the governance paradigms had become for the citizens of Greece.
The incumbent Greek government is struggling to stay afloat, economically. By doing so, it is deconstructing, brick by brick, the foundations that governments have struggled to build since 2009; foundations which were finally strong enough to lift Greece out of the financial crisis it had dug itself into.
While the citizens sit by and watch the decomposition of the economy, and their few remaining assets, they have once again started to look for solutions in their the areas of the political spectrum they once believed in, and branded themselves by.
They look to the centre-left. George Papendreou has blessed them with the decision to stand alone, which means that they are not to forced to vote for him if they want to vote the legacy socialist party, PASOK. Meanwhile PASOK’s leader, Evangelos Venizelos, is graciously trying to step back, and allow for a successor, with calls for a party congress. This is expected to materialize sometime between June and September, giving the party’s historical voters a possible chance to return to their roots.
For the other side of the political spectrum, we return to leader of New Democracy: Antonis Samaras.
A man who has toppled a government in 1993, caused a government to collapse when he refused to work with George Papandreou for a government of national unity in the summer of 2011 (his reasoning was that if he refused he would become Prime Minister more quickly, regardless of what was better for the country at the time), and again caused a government to collapse at the end of 2014, when he failed to get his candidate for President of the Hellenic Republic elected. Arrogantly, Samaras believed that he could win the elections in January, and chose not to fight for his worthy candidate, and former European Commissioner, Stavros Dimas.
On the day after the UK elections last week, 3 leading political figures resigned. Giving a chance to their historical voters to believe in new leadership.
Samaras sits on his throne. Nails dug deep into the leather.
His party’s historical voters, shake their heads as they did many times before, watching him cause the collapse of governments, and now, the whole political infrastructure of the center-right.
If only the thrones in Greece weren’t made of leather.