By Costas Iordanidis
Greece is gradually disappearing from the European stage, as issues crucial to the future of the citizens of this country are discussed by the leaders of Germany and France, without the presence of Prime Minister George Papandreou or any other member of his government. Questions such as whether Greece should go the way of a soft or uncontrolled default and whether it should return to the drachma or stay in the eurozone are being handled by our creditors, with the aim of limiting the effects of a Greek crash on the eurozone.
It is a sad day. It is the price of the madness that has prevailed over the Greek political system for the past 30 years, with the onus resting mostly on successive PASOK governments.
The people in power in Greece believed that European Union membership would mean that our partners in the bloc would be obliged to us forever and in perpetuity. It has now been proven that they were sorely mistaken. It slipped the attention of successive governments that Greece’s accession to an organized system meant blind obedience to its rules. Meanwhile, it was also unwise of Greece to become a part of the eurozone because its economy was incompatible with a strong currency that was shaped by one of the strongest economies in Europe, that of Germany. The simple truth — that it is dangerous to be somewhere where you don’t belong — was ignored. Then, once Greece became a member of the EU and the eurozone, it should have pursued stringent monetary and fiscal policies — a repugnant idea to the political system and, by extension, to society.
Today, and in retrospect, those who for three decades chose to coddle every social and productive force in this country are now playing the role of politicians actuated by stiff determination. But they are perceived as cheats, and then they wonder why they can’t muster any support for the salvation campaign they have embarked on.
Greece is not just sinking deeper into the mire of poverty every day; an entire political system is collapsing. PASOK’s Cabinet is torn apart and the prodigious Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos is taunting those MPs who express reservations about government policy, telling them to crush it if they dare. After two years of completely amateurish governance, the administration is now looking for a way to make a heroic exit and avoid humiliation. Its efforts are most certainly in vain.