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Archive for maj, 2012

Is this our darkest hour? I can think of no other since the words “Edo polytexneio” turned things around almost 40 years ago during the dictatorship.

My mother used to tell me that us Greeks, we are individualists that won´t lift a finger in cooperation until disaster has bitten half through our necks.

At that point we have rallied against the foreign powers that sought to defeat us or occupy us. Well this time we are our own worst enemies. Blaming immigrants, Germans, Troikas, the EU or the old favorite the USA is simply unworthy.

Faced with unemployment rates from hell and a mismanaged state that bears comparison to no other in Europe one would have hoped that the politicians at least would have drawn some conclusions by the elections held on the 6th of May.

Fingers are justly pointed at the two parties that have run the country since 1974 end especially at the ruling families who have profited. But we are all guilty by putting them there by reelecting them and by every act of cheating the system be it big or small.

On the 6th of May the people showed they did no longer want to put their trust into the same old parties or the same old hands that steer them.

Neither PASOK nor ND have since done their homework. They both point out that they are the parties that separate us from the abyss, but will not aknowledge that it´s their dismal politics and corrupt ways that put us in this mess to start with.

When you do wrong but want to make amends there are some basic steps that can´t be ignored.

Firstly, you assume responsibility for your actions and inactions.

Second, you apologize for them.

Third, you present new candidates that can be credible when saying that they had nothing to do with the old mistakes. People that have been successful in their civil careers and who will get ahead politically because of their own capacity rather than family ties.

Fourth, you engage in a serious dialogue with the voters. Meet them, answer their questions and let their opinions influence you within the limits of your ideology and set of ethics.

Fifth and this is the most important part. You start looking the truth in the eye and rather than thrashing your opponents, you bring forth your own set of values and solutions to the problems at hand. And then you open your mind to coalitions between your own party and others.

I do not think the people will trust you more if you badmouth your opponents. I am actually uncertain if we even care overly about your opinions on most issues save the Euro and the memorandum.

I´m a politician myself in Sweden and at first I was looking for a liberal party in Greece to support. But right now I would say that ideology is somewhat secondary (within democratic reason).

What I would look for is candidates who not only talk the talk, but also have shown that they are people of action who have walked the walk in their professional careers. Ones who will stand above the stale bickering in the talkshows and show that actions speak louder than words.

If they manage to keep us within the Euro I might even cheer for a coalition of leftist parties.

My personal opinions fall more in line with ND, PASOK and the liberal parties and on the issue of the memorandum and the Euro I would also add DIMAR. If they actually do what they say then they have my support. But so far the leaders haven´t honored the agreements they signed, monopolies haven´t been abolished and the system is as corrupt as ever.

I am ready to follow a credible candidate who means business and who will set these wrongs aright. Since one of the mindboggling laws of my native homeland prohibits me from voting at the embassy I would even be prepared to fly down and vote for such a person.

So if you´re there present yourself and I´ll follow.

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Different sides of ones identity float around more or less unnoticed until they are besieged, beset or called into question. In short I´ve grown several inches more Greek over the last few years.

But how to vote now that we apparently will be given a “second chance” on the 17th of June?

The general expectation seems to be that an even lower percentage of the voters will actually bother. People are disgusted, angry or just tired. In May many voted with their fists rather than their hearts or minds.

The cradle of democracy got itself a nazi party voted into parliament to complement the Stalinist-nostalgic KKE. But who to vote for when the so called serious parties were the ones responsible for putting us into the mess where we currently find ourselves? Turmoil plays into the hands of the extremists and populists and if we look for reasonable sounding alternatives in the middle, we once again get stuck with the same old, same old corrupt powerparties of PASOK and ND.

Personally I´d like to vote for a liberal party. But wait, there are at least three of those. All pretty new at that. Now why couldn´t they cooperate and form one party that at least would make it into parliament, giving the 6% of Greek liberal voters some representation?  

Ahh but can it be that good old personal gain and vanity thing? I mean DIMSIM´s leader Bakoyanni, the daughter of former ND leader Mitsotakis really only went liberal after losing out on becoming the new leader for the conservative ND, right?

My position has become increasingly clear. I agree with PASOKs leader Venizelos in that the Greek people have shown they want a coalition government. But there is more. For the parties to regain some credibility there has to be some real change in their lineups.

PASOK went from 40+ % to under 14%. That´s not just a way of saying we want a coalition, it´s a way of saying we don´t trust you, your representatives are the beneficiaries of corruption and nepotism. The same goes for ND.

I want to vote for reasonable, competent politicians who are not tied to the old cadres either by bloodlines or otherwise indebted. I want them to follow through with the agreements with the EU and keep us in the Euro and then help us get back on our feet.

Many political heavyweights talk about taking responsibility for the country, but maybe the best way for them to do that is by stepping down and letting new people, untainted by the old, take charge in their parties.

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