The extended Greek political spectrum
The financial crisis, beyond the many effects in society, has greatly expanded the political arc of the country, bringing forward political forces which until recently were marginal and insignificant. Now we have a bit of everything.
The most important thing though is that there are much more forces that are capable of intervening and affecting the political life of the country with their actions.
The Greek political equation has now become multidimensional, with its insane variables embedded within.
The current general feeling of political instability, which nobody can deny, can be attributed to the expansion of the political spectrum.
The left extreme of the spectrum is populated by armed rebels and scores of antiauthoritarian and anarchist groups which have long-abandoned the narrow confines of Exarchia. As a result of the crisis and the violent events in 2008, Greece has gained a wide anarchist movement, unlike anything it had experienced before.
About 15,000 to 20,000 mostly young people all over Greece seem able to cause their own dynamic events. Standing by their side are militant groups, which as demonstrated by the attack in N. Iraklio, have the capabilities of directly influencing the political developments in the country.
Everyone overlooking this unofficial and illegal version of politics in Greece are underestimated an especially explosive threat that now has the ability to cause a destabilization.
To the right extreme of the political spectrum is the equally threatening Golden Dawn, which despite its problems, is maintaining its numbers and capabilities. Its infiltration in impoverished social groups remains high, especially after the murderous bullets of the daring executioners legitimized them. This neo-Nazi version of political action is an insane variable that encourages the destabilizing clash of the polar opposites of the political spectrum.
These two factions have resorted to violence as political practices, which, despite the condemnation, manage to drastically affect the other legal and official forces of the political spectrum. Their actions, rhetoric and sloganeering can influence and push public opinion to adopt irrationality and aggression, while denying the other traditional, systemic political forces of an audience and pushing them towards the center. However New Democracy and PASOK’s turn to the center is not convincing, due to history and ideological inflexibility, which results in a significant portion of society not being represented and as such, the new balance in unstable and constantly shifting. In other words, without a central pillar in the political spectrum, stabilization can never be achieved in Greek politics and the risks instead of being limited will proliferate.
– Originally published in the Sunday print edition