Monday, January 12, 2004

Papandreou: The dynasty continues

greece > politics > hereditary
This is happening at home:

"PASOK, which began its political career as a party that was profoundly critical of US policy, both in Greece and internationally, has gradually become the "American" party of some contemporary Greeks, and not only thanks to the communication skills of George Papandreou."

The whole media blitz that Papandreou's nomination as party leader has entailed, reminds me of American elections, only worse. The private TV channels in Greece, owned in their majority by big business interests - which have made a killing under the self-styled socialists, are playing day in and day out more and more pictures of Papandreou the third: a messianic thrill has overtaken the pundits, after the scare of what seemed like the specter of certain electoral defeat this spring. Now, with the force of the biggest Greek political brand-name behind them, they are marching forward hoping to con everyone into giving them four more years of plunder.

These "socialists" have overseen the greatest upward redistribution of income in living memory and have created an ubiquitous system of corruption that makes the Andreas' Papandreou era seem pristine in comparison. They have allowed a handful of magnates to run the country as their own personal feudal property. They have sold off (or are trying to sell off) utilities and public lands, while changing the laws as to allow the destruction of most of Greece's forests. Yet, at the same time they have nothing but friends among TV channel owners who shape public attitudes and distract the populace by showing nothing but the most vile and insignificant gossip as news. Still, PASOK was on the way for a major defeat, as the opinion polls were showing a gaping 8-10% between them and the (equally abominable) New Democracy conservative party, which, however, is not considered by our ruling oligarchs capable of handling the further upward redistribution of income without creating serious social tensions.
Thus the bearer of the name was brought in as saviour - so that a PR coup d' etat could be staged and the battle renewed. I doubt if it will work in the near term, but one can safely bet that George Papandreou will be Prime Minister of Greece sometime in the next four years...

And to make the whole thing more surreal, the most "Anti-American" European country will soon have the most pro-American Prime Minister in Europe.

No comments: