The stork of pol­i­tics is com­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PANTELIS BOUKALAS

If leaks, tele­vi­sion re­ports and news­pa­per head­lines served as the an­nounce­ment board of the ma­ter­nity ward for po­lit­i­cal par­ties, we could sur­mise that the stork of pol­i­tics is about to make an­other de­liv­ery in Greece at some point soon. It will also likely be a dou­ble de­liv­ery, as any­one who knows how to read the signs of po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments sees the birth of two new po­lit­i­cal par­ties on the hori­zon: one sired by rul­ing SYRIZA’s for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter, Ya­nis Varo­ufakis, and the other by PASOK’s Evan­ge­los Venize­los, also a for­mer fi­nance chief. The sur­names are listed in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der so as not to in­jured any­one’s ego, even though this is some­thing very un­likely, since both have very thick skin. The truth is that the stork of Greek pol­i­tics is al­ways look­ing at a packed de­liv­ery sched­ule. The ease with which po­lit­i­cal par­ties are formed in this coun­try is even greater than the ease with which uniden­ti­fi­able for­ma­tions based on a sin­gle fig­ure are la­beled move­ments even if they are sup­ported only by a few close friends of the leader, about half of his or her rel­a­tives and a hand­ful of per­pet­ual hang­ers-on. Par­ties also crop up with much greater ease than that with which their op­er­a­tion is sus­pended, given that their cre­ation usu­ally serves no other pur­pose than boost­ing the founder’s stock so that he can hope­fully be signed by one of the big­ger par­ties, not as a bench-warmer but as a big player. Last but not least, the ease with which new po­lit­i­cal par­ties are cre­ated is greater even than that with which many politi­cians jump from party to party, and not just to those with which they have an ide­o­log­i­cal affin­ity. The sim­ple truth is that their only ide­o­log­i­cal con­cern is po­lit­i­cal sur­vival by main­tain­ing a pres­ence in Par­lia­ment. And on every oc­ca­sion that they switch par­ties, they solemnly ask that vot­ers re­spect their con­sis­tency, their un­shak­able faith in what­ever party they’re now sup­port­ing, their com­mit­ment to their prin­ci­ples, etc. In or­der to push ahead with a new party, Venize­los, who is the ac­tual leader of PASOK, will first have to de­cide whether the coun­try’s pres­i­dency can wait a few more years. For Varo­ufakis to start a party in the nar­row con­fines of tiny lit­tle Greece, he will first have to de­cide whether to cede to an un­der­ling the lead­er­ship of DiEM 25, which calls it­self a “pan-Euro­pean, cross-bor­der move­ment.” How­ever which way they do even­tu­ally de­cide to fi­nally play it, it will be de­ter­mined by the “coun­try’s fu­ture” – as it al­ways is in such cases.

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