Antonis Karakousis Friday, January 09, 2015
The political forces and associations two weeks before the general elections are set to begin
The election campaign is getting along smoothly for the time being, without any major disturbances and upheavals in the country’s economy.
There may be an outflow of funds from the banks, but it no case does it approximate what we witnessed in the 2012 elections.
Furthermore the European Central Bank is prepared to offer any help necessary while the country is within a program.
That means that the economy is covered at least until the end of February.
In this respect then, the people can follow the election campaign undisturbed, evaluate positions and programs and calmly select what to vote for.
The parties are also trying to finalize their ballots and are in a constant negotiation with people and movements, which isn’t the best thing.
SYRIZA spent all night trying to overcome the objections and reservations for expanding its forces, while New Democracy is fishing for people everywhere, mainly from the smaller parties, in an effort to increase its momentum and approximate SYRIZA’s rates.
New Democracy is even chasing Evangelos Venizelos, with whom they were governing together until yesterday, in order to achieve their goal.
The truth is that everyone is watching the electoral catwalks and is trying to attract people who can bring votes.
This allows “all the babes to get on stage”, as an experienced political once quipped, who is watching with sorrow from a distance the comings and goings in the election campaign of various “stars”, many fools and countless overrated television personalities, who are exploiting the agony of the parties for survival or a better place.
As important as this “trade” of candidates may be, it does not appear capable of changing the outcome of the elections.
Up to now, SYRIZA maintains the lead in the polls and one can say that it has a safe distance from runner-up New Democracy.
Mr Samaras is fighting tooth and nail to cover the distance, he has indeed improved his performance, but he is still trailing behind Mr Tsipras.
It will be a major achievement for Mr Samaras is he manages to overturn the situation in the few weeks remaining.
The truth is that he is struggling on a local level, he is including in his ballots people from local administration capable of rallying the right wing, he wants to literally absorb the Independent Greeks and wants to attract Golden Dawn’s voters.
The SYRIZA president on the other hand, despite the problems he faces from his internal opposition, is show his skill and abilities, expanding his contacts, he has met with a slew of businessmen and is attempting to shatter the fears and insecurities of the urban world and is generally battling in a hostile environment.
Without a doubt, he has managed to curb the accusations that he is a threat to the country’s Eurozone membership and he continues to fend off the aggression from abroad.
His argument that a democratic Europe cannot stand against a party simply because it has different ideological and political origins has held back most and averted a generalized anti-SYRIZA campaign abroad.
In other words Mr Tsipras created the conditions so that his party will maintain its lead, he took advantage of the fragmentation of the centre left and is benefiting from the polarization created by Mr Samaras in order to increase his strength.
Despite Tsipras’s lead, the battle for the first place has not yet ended.
Mr Samaras is politically proactive, a fighter and Mr Tsipras knows and respects this.
Politically speaking the next few days will be hard and without a doubt the competition between the two will pressure the smaller parties to a breaking point.
Golden Dawn is claiming the third place, despite its leadership being in prison, as it ahs hardened and unconvinced supporters.
It will struggle with Evangelos Venizelos’ PASOK, which seems to be overcoming the first shock of Papandreou’s party and Stavros Theodorakis’ The River, whose voters will likely feel the greatest pressure from the polarized climate and emergent new two-party system.
The Communist party too, despite having keen supporters, will also feel the pressure from the expectations generated by a potential left government.
Beyond all that, the Independent Greeks and the Democratic Left are in a dire position and along with Giorgos Papandreou, they will likely be the victims of the 25th of January elections.