Today, due to current events, it is useful to publish four stories from the pages of unwritten (as of yet) little history…
Today, due to current events, it is useful to publish four stories from the pages of unwritten (as of yet) little history!
First story: The late Athanasios Tsaldaris, who was an MP for the right for decades, son of a former Prime Minister and President of Parliament for years, had his own way to predict the election results. He would go to the Panathinaikos stadium on Alexandras Avenue and would stand by the central entrance, as if he were waiting for someone.
Afterwards he would go the stands where the fans sat and would express his predictions out loud.
When he asked how he came up with the results he would respond that when the police would act especially friendly, he knew that he would win the elections. If they avoided him, he knew that he would lose!
Second story: The vice president of the junta Stelios Pattakos went to visit Georgios Papandreou at the Evangelismos hospital in the fall of 1967, where he was hospitalized under guard. Pattakos tried to console Georgios Papandreou by telling him “that is the way it is, Mr. President, one moment you are down, then next it is us…”
Papandreou looked at him reproachfully and replied: “I know that, do you?” Pattakos tiptoed away…
Third story: Regarding politics, Konstantinos Karamanlis once said that “there are no permanent friends and permanent enemies”.
Fourth story: The greatest animosities are amongst MPs of the same party. Such an example was the relationship Konstantinos Papakonstantinou, vice president in the Karamanlis governments, with Konstantinos Mitsotakis. When the later traveled to Libya to secure oil for Greece during the major oil crisis in the 1970s, the government vice president publicly stated that “if he brings oil from Libya, I will drink it with a spoon!”
A few years later and after having become president of New Democracy, Mr. Mitsotakis excluded Mr. Papakonstantinou from his party ballots with the excuse that he was over seventy years old.
There are many more didactic stories…
Stavros P. Psycharis
Originally published in the Sunday print edition