Thursday, August 20, 2015

SYRIZA’s faulty perspective

Το Βήμα Online Thursday, August 06, 2015

Everything that has happened over the past six months stems from the perception formed by SYRIZA’s leadership regarding the country’s condition.

Most within the governing party treated Greece as a country in a state of perpetual humanitarian crisis.

From as early as 2004, analysts of the current governing party described the dramatic conditions in Greek society, dominated by poverty and absolute inequalities. Not that they did not exit, but not the extent that they believed.

Their narrative, criticism and approach stemmed from the distorted belief that Greeks are fundamentally poor, with limited income and to a great extent, fully dependent on the State.

With the party’s central offices situated on Koumoundourou Square, they were influenced by what they saw on the square for years.

So it escaped their attention that Greek society is more complicated, that its social stratification is not as clear, that the shadow economy is huge, that there are hidden wealth and indissoluble bonds – family and others – which transform or falsify the first impression.

They had not even taken into consideration the description of the famous Greek multiagency, this peculiar Greek situation where a person has many properties and incorporates many differing and conflicting interests.

A Greek citizen may be an employee, owner of real estate and a farmer, trader or self-employed simultaneously. This means that his position is above average and as such, his social and political behaviour is not unified and stable, but rather fluid and dependent on which interests prevail each time. The end result is an anarchic behaviour, of wanting everything right here, right now.

That is more or less how SYRIZA never accepted that tax evasion and illicit trade are national sports, where everyone – from the poorest to the wealthiest - is participating. Nor did the governing party ever realize that everyone wins from the financial waste.

Consequently, the perverse anti-memorandum monoculture and denial of austerity in all forms prevailed, which in turn allowed for the development of the so-called drachma alternative.

Everything happens in due time though. The humanitarian crisis described early on will unfortunately occur, as a result of SYRIZA’s obsessive beliefs on implementing economic policy.

The impasses became quickly apparent; the faulty perspectives nearly collapsed automatically as soon as the government rose to power and now, under the weight of the responsibility, the government has began to go back on its pledges, as expected.

Unfortunately this came late and the delay has caused unique damages.

Let us hope that they are not irreparable and that there is still time and power to reverse the conditions of absolute catastrophe.

Antonis Karakousis

SYRIZA’s faulty perspective - Το Βήμα Online