We’ll need lots of lo­tuses

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PANTELIS BOUKALAS

En­thu­si­as­tic rhetoric is a ne­ces­sity for ev­ery new en­deavor, though in no way en­sures its suc­cess. How­ever pas­sion­ate the words be­ing used, the real prob­lems can­not be wiped away or cov­ered up enough to ap­pear that they’re gone. So it is per­fectly un­der­stand­able that Fofi Gen­ni­mata chose to end this week­end’s con­fer­ence of the Demo­cratic Al­liance with the phrase “Yes, we’re back.” Not that this as­sur­ance by the leader of PASOK sent tin­gles down any­one’s spines, not even erst­while PASOK or Demo­cratic Left vot­ers. Nor does it veil in any sig­nif­i­cant way the on­go­ing and age-old bat­tle be­hind the use of the plu­ral “we,” a bat­tle that is not ex­actly ide­o­log­i­cal, nor ex­actly po­lit­i­cal. No mat­ter how much Gen­ni­mata tries to ward off the evil of re­al­ity by claim­ing that Demo­cratic Al­liance is not a “col­lec­tion of war­lords but a peo­ple’s move­ment,” the lines be­tween the par­ties in the group­ing are clear and their lust for power un­fet­tered. If defin­ing your­self as a move­ment was enough to make you an ac­tual move- ment, then Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou’s Move­ment of Demo­cratic So­cial­ists would also be just what it claims and would not have needed to add its logo to that of the other par­ties in the group. There is noth­ing new about a party or a politi­cian us­ing the mis­takes or trans­gres­sions of oth­ers as an alibi or ex­cul­pa­tory ar­gu­ment for their own failed state. Gen­ni­mata fol­lowed this well­worn path when she ac­cused rul­ing SYRIZA of “be­tray­ing the pro­gres­sive ci­ti­zens who trusted it.” She added another as­sur­ance: “We are not in the land of lo­tus-eaters.” SYRIZA does in­deed pro­duce an enor­mous amount of de­nial and dis­ap­point­ment. Given, how­ever, that the ac­cu­sa­tion of be­trayal was first heard against PASOK and is be­ing jus­ti­fied by the likes of Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Yian­nos Papantoniou, among oth­ers, ci­ti­zens would in­deed have to eat a huge amount of lo­tus flow­ers to be­lieve that what is hailed as the “New Change” has man­aged to purge it­self of its own sins – ones that it prefers to re­main sto­ically si­lent about too.

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