Greece’s coalition Government is in danger of coming apart. The general numbness, which followed the summer national elections, is giving way to renewed anger and despair. Faced with SYRIZA, the left-wing coalition that is again on the rise, the Government is certain to play the hand it knows best: Its Far-Right column will again take the lead and shift the focus to issues of “law and order”, “legality”, the “protection of democracy from extremists on all sides”, even “terrorism”.
New Democracy, the leading political party in Greece’s coalition Government, has taken on a form that would have appeared strange a few years ago. On the one hand, it is supported by the “modernizers” of the 1990s. These are the architects of Greece’s “European perspective”, traditionally identified with the left-of-center-come-neoliberal PASOK party, that has seen its strength crumbling ever since Giorgos Papandreou called in the IMF. Having come to political prominence in the era of Costas Simitis’s governments, who still exerts a strong personal influence, these people have been instrumental in holding up the web which interweaves the interests of major oligopolies in all financial sectors with the legislature, the judiciary and the Media. It is not that they are the only corrupt ones around, far from it. But they are the ones that through the 1990s consolidated corruption and upgraded it from a sort of provincial clientelism to a rationalized system of economy and government. These politicians are still in Berlin’s sphere of influence, and in that respect the current government headed by New Democracy can be seen in the same geopolitical light as the Simitis governments.
On the other hand, New Democracy is still a home to the populist, nationalistic Right, where in fact Prime Minister Antonis Samaras belongs, and retains its bonds with the Far-Right and fascist organizations. (Prominent New Democracy MPs come from the Ultra-Right party LAOS, which disintegrated after lending support to austerity policies, including the Parliamentary Spokesman Makis Voridis who at one time served as Youth Secretary of EPEN, a fascist party, succeeding in fact Nikos Michaloliakos, founder and General Secretary of neonazi Golden Dawn.)