A Guide to Greek Politics

Hello. My name is Costas and I will be your guide to Greek politics for the next five minutes. Allow me to begin by naming the parties regrettably involved in the circus act that we like to call the Greek Parliament.We have ‘New Democracy’, a respected party in Greece politics, led by a dunderhead that came to power with the help of what can only be described as a Christmas miracle that somehow occurred in June. The dunderhead in question, Antonis Samaras, was recently recorded telling reporters that he could ‘feel his victory in the air’ while rubbing his fingers together in a reenactment of Ebenezer Scrooge from ‘A Christmas Carol’.

We have Pasok, a party led by Evangelos Venizelos, a gentleman that would steal sweets from a baby if he thought it would lead to some sort of political gain. He repeatedly back-stabbed his partner and former Prime Minister George Papandreou to secure his leadership of the party, essentially forsaking the future of Greece for power. What a lovely character.

We have Syriza, the Coalition of the radical left; in other words communists in sheep’s clothing. Their leader, Alexis Tsipras, wants to ‘cancel austerity’ and renegotiate Greece’s debt and cut interest rates. So he wants to have his cake and eat it too when really he should be sharing the cake with the rest of Europe considering his communist leanings.

There is ‘The river’, a party that looks promising, but that is lead by a journalist, Stavros Theodorakis, that still can’t pin -point the parties stances on various issues like the economy and how to encourage growth. You can practically see the green tint of inexperience protruding from every inch of his being.

Finally, we have Golden Dawn, a party that really needs no introduction, and is probably radically racist enough to make Nigel Farage blush. These charming individuals hate immigrants, homosexuals, and pretty much anyone not white, straight and Greek.

This is just a taste of the colourful characters that populate the Greek Parliament and grace us, the people, with their words of wisdom. As a moderate and in favour of the European Union, my gut tells me to side with the parties of the centre, but my hatred of their leaders almost makes me want to throw my lot in with another party. The good thing about elections during a crisis is that they’re like the Hunger Games of politics: the contestants can talk smack beforehand but only the strongest will survive. Pasok learnt this all too well when their indecisive leadership resulted in a drop from 43 percent of the vote in 2009 to a meagre 13 percent in 2012.

The bottom line is, we have no idea who to vote for. Do we go for the alleged ‘lapdogs of Merkel’, Pasok and New Democracy, criminally devoid of dignity and smarts? Or do we go for the radical left and vote for Syriza, a party that is very likely to trigger a ‘Grexit’ that may well result in the dissolution of the Eurozone? Or do we go for ‘The River’ and vote for a party, barely a year old, untested by the harsh realities of politics.
One thing is for sure though, the rest of the world is reaching for the popcorn.

Bottom Line
The upcoming Greek elections create an important riddle for the confused and desparate voters.

Columnist at York Vision and Chat Politics.