Editorial: Ungoverned state

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos assumed the mantle of foreign minister and presented his own plan for a Balkan alliance, supported by creating new American bases in Greece.

The incongruous and from the start mismatched partnership between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Independent Greeks leader and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos appears to be in its death throes.

As elections draw ever nearer and an atavistic survival instinct overtakes both partners, the connective mortar of power is crumbling, and what is revealed is the incompatibility underlying their absolutely cynical association, which as it turned out was based on a politically and economically unfounded anti-memorandum platform.

The cohesive substance binding together the two politically and ideologically conflicting parties, SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks, vaporised very early on, with the acceptance of a bailout memorandum inordinately harsher than the first two, and signed by both anti-memorandum coalition partners, in the summer of 2015.

Nonetheless, they did not split up as most people, both inside and outside the two parties, expected. The attentive observer could discern the adventurist nature of this political co-habitation. As time passed, the inconsistencies were revealed, despite mutual efforts to conceal them.

Everyone remembers the occasional crises in the relations between the two parties. Their ideological and political differences were highlighted in their conflicting views on church-state relations, the law on same-sex partnerships, and a host of other social issues.

The ties were ruptured by the FYROM naming issue, especially with the signing of the Prespa Agreement, which revealed differing strategies and the collapse of the collaboration.

The ruptures over recent days leave no room to either party for tolerance, despite the signals of conciliation and understanding emitted by both.

The prime minister looked on as his coalition partner and defence minister, at an official meeting in the US, degraded the Prespa Agreement, which is of fundamental importance for Mr. Tsipras.

Kammenos decided to assume the mantle of foreign minister and present his own plan for a Balkan alliance, which would be supported by creating new American bases in Greece.

The defence minister went to extremes. The Independent Greeks spokesman went as far as to propose cooperation with New Democracy, an opponent seeking power.

All of the above points to an incompatible relationship which cannot be expected to endure, as many reserves of cynicism the once absolutely coordinated partners may have.

The unfortunate thing is that the crisis in their relations creates conditions of paralysis that leave the country ungoverned in an exceptionally tumultuous period, and all this at a time that the economic capabilities of the country are being disputed, the exclusion from international markets continues, and the endurance of the banking system is being tested.

After nearly four years, Messrs. Tsipras and Kammenos are about to hand over an ungoverned state, with butchered institutions, and a society in desperation, without a vision and without a plan for the future.

They are handing over an exhausted and vulnerable country, which is literally a feather in the wind.

If they are to part ways, let them do it now, so as to allow the Greek people to seek out a credible and domestically cohesive solution.

By extending their odd and cynical partnership, they are harming both the country and its citizens.

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