The cen­ter-left void

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

Greece is in ur­gent need of a strong cen­ter­left po­lit­i­cal force. It’s time for egos to be pushed aside and for the prima don­nas and wannabe feu­dal lords to step down from their high horses and unite un­der one umbrella. Never-end­ing group ther­apy doesn’t lead any­where. The cen­ter-left has plenty of ex­pe­ri­enced politi­cians and ex­ec­u­tives who are fa­mil­iar with the tasks of gov­er­nance. How­ever, the prob­lem is that, just as in the past stretch­ing as far back as the days of late PASOK strong­man and pre­mier An­dreas Pa­pan­dreou, they all want to be crowned the leader. Mean­while, time just keeps tick­ing away. Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras had the op­por­tu­nity to lead a cen­ter-left po­lit­i­cal force. Europe handed him the keys that would have al­lowed him to be­come the strong­est voice of Greek so­cial­ism. The left­ist leader con­tin­ues to re­ject that op­por­tu­nity and gov­erns in the man­ner he thinks best, mainly with peo­ple and meth­ods that rep­re­sent no one but the 3 per­cent min­i­mum thresh­old needed for mak­ing it into Par­lia­ment. Nei­ther he nor his party has made any over­tures to­ward the mod­er­ate, pro-Europe cen­ter-left. Even many of the party’s of­fi­cials – ex­cept of course for those who are sim­ply look­ing to keep their cushy jobs – are un­happy with the po­lit­i­cal cul­ture of to­day’s gov­ern­ment. Hate­ful rhetoric and at­tacks on the coun­try’s in­sti­tu­tions have made for a strange co­hab­i­ta­tion that they find re­pelling. SYRIZA will try, through trick­ery and maybe even some va­pid rhetoric, to con­vince ev­ery­one that the party is evolv­ing into a new cen­ter-left po­lit­i­cal force. If the re­main­ing pro­tag­o­nists con­tinue to sit around talk­ing and sip­ping on their green tea, SYRIZA will suc­ceed in es­tab­lish­ing it­self as the coun­try’s per­ma­nent cen­ter-left al­ter­na­tive. With­out chang­ing, in essence, SYRIZA will seem like the only real op­tion for ci­ti­zens of left or cen­ter-left opinions, who find it diffi-

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