The defamation of the country by the thuggish behaviour in Thessaloniki’s Toumba stadium last Sunday may be preoccupying public opinion – and rightly so – yet one faces a series of problems that are not being addressed, and which cannot be handled with the usual government tactic of sweeping them under the rug.
The history of football and its embrace with ruthless individuals and interests is not a coincidence, but rather an organised and planned power play with subterranean or obvious transactions of mutual interest.
With this opportunistic and adventurist tactic, which poisons the political climate and society, the country will continue to falter. In the next three months, the outcome of a series of domestic and national issues will be decisive for our future.
There are about 100 days left to complete negotiations with European creditors and the IMF that will shape the terrain for the day after.
One must close a number of fronts with the troika of creditors, present the much-touted national reconstruction plan that will replace the bailout memorandum, complete the stress tests of the banks, and pursue negotiations regarding debt relief.
These are great challenges for a government that is not known for its swift decisions, or for the effectiveness of its cadres.
With a political climate charged with scandals such as that in football, or opportunistically divisive government tactics, developments are unforeseeable.
At the same time, developments with national issues are problematic. Turkey is unpredictable and aggressive, both in the Aegean and with Cyprus, and as regards a drawn out imprisonment in a Turkish jail of two Greek army officers, with no apparent way out. Negotiations on the Macedonian naming issue are ongoing, with public opinion divided and an erratic and problematic junior partner in the ruling coalition.
At a juncture at which one needs a climate of stability and political and social calm, the country once again lacks a minimum level of understanding between political forces.
From football to national issues, one constantly is faced with areas of tension, machinations, and clashes that constitute a minefield for the country’s course.
All these open issues of the next weeks and months require a government that is credible and decisive, and will place the broader national interest above fleeting partisan gain. But that is nowhere to be found.