Only with consequence, continuity and stability will the future be won, Mr. Tsipras!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Greek politics, with the few exceptions that confirm the rule, is distinguished for its lack of consequence and discipline. That is why there is a lack of continuity and constantly wavering between progress and decline.

Anyone observing the political developments in Greece for the past forty years will see that this is true. All political forces and leaders were at some point dominated by self-destructive syndromes. There always came a moment when the leader and his party would drop the ball.

Even the most ambitious plans were lost because they could not stand the test of time, because the struggle for power overshadowed the efforts for the country and the people. In 1979 Konstantinos Karamanlis preferred the security of the Presidential Mansion over the painful struggle to reorganize the country.

In 1987 when Andreas Papandreou had to undertake the entire burden of insisting on economic stability, he resorted to populism to maintain power.

And later in 2002, Kostas Simitis caved in to the pressure of the political cost and abandoned his reform efforts.

In 2004 the younger Karamanlis did not want to undertake the burden of fiscal consolidation, despite having prepared society appropriately. He seized power in the name of economic stability, but instead decided to govern carefree and thoughtlessly.

In 2009, Giorgos Papandreou did not realize the seriousness of the circumstances and was swept away by the lack of understanding that distinguished his term in power, despite having been warned.

His successor Antonis Samaras dropped the ball in 2014, after managing to pick it up in 2012, precisely because he was consumed by the agony of losing power.

Now history repeats itself. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is consumed by this power syndrome and prefers to risk or even sacrifice everything achieved in finances from the endless sacrifices of the Greek people.

Truth be told, it is the lack of continuity and consequence in Greek politics that is responsible for the long-term crisis. It is the almost permanent adventurism that reveals the procrastination in Greek politics.

Only with consequence, continuity and stability will the future be won, Mr. Tsipras!


Antonis Karakousis
Originally published in the Sunday print edition