|GREECE AND ITS NEW SAMARAS GOVERNMENT: CRYSTALLBALLING BEGINS|
|Sunday, 24 June 2012 09:16|
Any euphoria attached to this moment of "triumph" though must have dissipated quickly. Greece will get a government which will be divided along fault lines from the word "go." An early sign of how harmonious the whole undertaking is was Mr. Samaras's unlikely bed-mates from Pasok going at each others throats over who will participate in the "coalition" cabinet; the well known old timers, the very same who followed George Papandreou down the fatal road of "bailout" for Greece, still insist they are not only willing and able, but, indeed, irreplaceable (so much for their perspective of what their catastrophic actions of the recent past have inflicted on the country).
Pasok leader, Mr. Venizelos, argues differently: he wants only Pasok-associated "technocrats" in the Samaras cabinet, perhaps because he still clings to the fantasy that the terribly shriveled Pasok's members do have a political future in Greece and wishes to keep his party's front line as far as possible from decision-making on austerity.
As for the other appendix of the Samaras administration, the Democratic Left (DIMAR), its leader, Mr. Kouvelis, seems to gravitate toward offering the new PM a vote of confidence but no manpower to staff the cabinet.
Mr. Samaras has undoubtedly a thankless job to do. His frequent references to his supposed intention to "re-negotiate" the lethal terms of the "bailout" have disappeared from his immediate post-election statements. His government, according to all indications, will be as much pro-austerity as his Pasok predecessors. In other words, those who cast their ballots for ND in the hope of a partial lifting, at least, of the enormous burden crushing the country will be disappointed, to say the least. It is also almost preordained that sooner or later Mr. Samaras will clash with his DIMAR "supporters" over his unwillingness to dilute his pro-austerity stance and his abandonment of his pre-election promises.
The new cabinet enters parliament where the real political winner is Syriza and its youthful leader, Mr. Tsipras. We should rest assured that the new main opposition won't offer ND any respite. Any attempt to continue with austerity measures will be met with enfilade fire from the Syriza benches, not to mention those of the minor parties, all of which are as vigorously "anti-memorandum" as Syriza itself.
Mr. Samaras himself joins this adventure standing on weak personal political ground. During his watch, ND scored the two worst general election results in its entire history. On May 6, the present prime minister led ND to its worst ever defeat, sending her percentage of the vote down to 18.85%; on June 17, he repeated the feat by winning just 29.66% of the vote, down 3.82% from the worst ND score ever, until May 6, achieved by the disgraced ex ND prime minister Kostas Karamanlis in the 2009 elections, when he lost to Pasok 33.48 to 43.92%. In addition, Mr. Samaras's conduct between November 2009, when he assumed the ND leadership, and last month's elections is dotted with mad swings and spectacular somersaults, including the one who led him to become pro-austerity after a full year of opposing the entire "bailout" agreement.
COMMENT: During the election campaign Mr. Samaras received the most blatant support from our "friends and partners" in the European "union" that included direct and loud threats from Germany, an unprecedented leading editorial printed in Greek in the the German edition of the Financial Times calling upon Greek voters "not to vote for the agitator" (i.e. Alexis Tsipras), an avalanche of "expert" analyses in the international press suggesting that electing a pro-"bailout" party would be Greece's only chance of avoiding the Ninth Circle of Hell, not to mention all the "discreet" diplomatic action to deliver warnings in all possible directions of what could happen if Greece did not elect Mr. Samaras. The June 17 election, therefore, was carried out under terms of thinly-veiled outside direct intervention that carried every characteristic of similar interventions of the past save sending in the troops in to make sure the Greek voter behaved accordingly. It is also certain that this impending "coalition" government will be offered crutches every step of the way by "friends" and "allies" lest the German project of killing the European "union" via austerity flops. It remains to be seen what will be the exact nature of these crutches and what would be the reaction of the Greek people when Mr. Samaras's pro-austerity policies begin to roll. In the meantime, Greece continues on its deathbed.
Note: "This article appears in Sphaera Ephemeris blog"