Renewal is inevitable
Irrespective of political beliefs, everyone is talking about the need for a renewal in Greek politics. Of course, when the discussion gets serious…
Irrespective of political beliefs, everyone is talking about the need for a renewal in Greek politics. Of course, when the discussion gets serious, everyone exempts themselves and their families. There are many examples, there is no need to document them, simply mentioning some is enough. Here is an incident from about half a century ago…
This incident occurred in 1967, when the country was preparing for elections, which were canceled by the military coup in April. The anecdote took place in the office of ERE’s leader (the National Radical Union, which K. Karamanlis founded in 1955). The party founder was self-exiled in Paris and his seat as president was filled in by the late Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, who was more of a professor than a politician.
So P. Kanellopoulos is in his office, surrounded by a group of political editors from the time. And he was telling them him worries; ahead of the elections he was being pressured by ERE MPs and candidates who wanted to secure their inclusion in the ballot, despite their old age.
While P. Kanellopoulos was explaining that he would have to drop the elders from the ballots, his trusted assistant Yula Zona walked in and told hm that MP Giokas wanted to speak to him. “Later”, answered P. Kanellopoulos and Yula responded that the matter was urgent, because Giokas wanted to resign. “Have him come in” replied the ERE leader and he asked the journalists to leave his alone for a bit in his office.
The MP entered and a few minutes later there was shouting in the corridors. At the same time P. Kanellopoulos opened the door and addressing the journalist he yelled “here, gentlemen, Mr. Giokas and his boy!” explaining that the MP wanted his son to included on the ballot, or at least have his son take his place.
The coup in April canceled the elections and after P. Kanellopoulos was arrested, he was “relieved” from the pressure…
Society’s demand for renewal conflicts with an establishment that is unable to understand underground social movements that mature and bring change. In Greece’s case, many efforts were made to maintain an establishment that turned out to be supported by a few “enlightened leaders”. After their departure unruly forces were set free, some of which are approaching Parliament.
Time will be needed to restore the new order of things with a real renewal of politics. Renewal is inevitable. The people do not play new games with old rules.
Those who view power as a prize have lost.
Stavros P. Psycharis
Originally published in the Sunday print edition