It is by now clear even to the most incredulous that the political thermometer is not only rising dangerously, but that we are entering a cycle of street battles, as To Vima’s Sunday editorial noted.
With a quick closure of the fiscal adjustment programme in sight, the government and the entire political system are preparing for what appears to be a long and painful pre-election period.
Mr. Tsipras, in his speech yesterday to his parliamentary group, first denounced…populism and then proceeded to trigger a political clash, exploiting the data emerging from the Paradise Papers, and personally targeting the leader of the main opposition party. Scandals, real or not, constitute it seems the core of Syriza’s strategy for the foreseeable future, which aims to regain at least part of its lost electoral audience.
New Democracy, on the other hand, is focusing on the weak link in the ruling majority, the leader of Syriza’s coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), who loses no opportunity to provoke with his decisions, such as the recent decision to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia, but also with his repeated provocative statements.
At a particularly sensitive juncture for the country, especially for the course of the economy, instead of trying to maintain a climate of normalcy and stability, the government places its narrow partisan interests first. It creates and constantly preserves loci of tension and polarising clashes, obviously believing that in this manner it can rally its party base.
While the coming months will be especially crucial, as the new hybrid oversight of the economy (as one EU official put it) will be decided, government cadres instead of focusing on the substance of what is at stake, primarily look after their political survival.
The dominant line of thinking in the prime minister’s office does not focus on the course of the country, but rather on creating conditions of frontal confrontation at all costs in the next elections. In words, Tsipras may be promising his MPs and society a better tomorrow, but in practice he does whatever he can to undermine that.
Citizens have had their fill of words and easy promises. After nearly 10 years of crisis, it is at long last time for common sense to prevail, so that we do not yet again destroy what until now we have achieved through extremely heavy sacrifices.