Well, that didn’t take long. Moments after the Greek Parliament rejected Prime Minister and New Democracy Capitalist leader Antonis Samaras’ hand-picked party Vice-President Stavros Dimas to be the country’s next symbolic President for a position with less power than being the head of the Mickey Mouse Club, Greeks were subjected to more scare tactics from both sides who will square off in the January 25 snap elections.
Samaras’ risky gambit of calling for the Presidential elections in December instead of February failed spectacularly and opened the door for the major opposition Coalition of the Looney Left (SYRIZA) to start crowing it would win and dethrone the feckless coalition of New Democracy and its partner, the vanishing PASOK Anti-Socialists.
“Greek lawmakers, the parties of the democratic opposition, proved that democracy cannot be blackmailed despite the pressures and machinations,” said SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras, who couldn’t manage a hot dog stand outside Yankee Stadium never mind a government.
“When the large majority of the Greek people is determined to put an end to the policies of the memorandums and austerity, then deputies can do nothing more than respond to their duty and act in accordance with the will of the people,” Tsipras said.
He was referring to the two deals Greece signed with the heartless Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) in return for 240 billion euros ($306 billion) in bailouts.
The first was signed by former PASOK leader and previous Premier George Papandreou who’s apparently so disgusted with himself he’s going to leave the party founded by his father and a previous Premier, Andreas Papandreou, to create yet another marginal, irrelevant political movement going nowhere and doing nothing.
The second was signed by Samaras – who opposed the first when he was out of office and sounded warnings about the big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings he implemented after he took office. Now he’s acting like Darth Vader.
He won that position in 2012 by a narrow margin over SYRIZA by using well-worn scare tactics that Greek’s lives would be miserable under the Leftists, as if it could have gotten worse for them. And he said Greece would be forced out of the Eurozone if SYRIZA won.
The tactic worked so well he tried it again when he pushed up the Presidential election after negotiations with the Troika over unfinished reforms and how to close a hole in the 2015 budget of some three billion euros failed, ending his dream of taking an early exit from the memorandum he signed after he opposed the first Papandreou signed.
This time, it didn’t work, as Greeks weary of the man who cried chaos tuned out, shrugged their shoulders and started moving toward another disaster-in-the-making: SYRIZA.
Samaras’ warnings that a SYRIZA administration would create a run on the banks and have the sky fall didn’t work with reluctant lawmakers either as he couldn’t get enough Independents or those from rival parties to back Dimas, who fell 12 votes short of becoming President, forcing the early elections that will see Greece unravel even more.
Samaras will now roll out more of the big guns that misfired the first time he trotted them out, including the EU’s finance chief Pierre Moscovici, the former French Finance Minister who’s sticking his nose into Greek politics.
He’s the same guy who presided over the shipwreck of the French economy so we don’t need advice from the French on economics or war because they backpedal on both. Politicians are like bankers: both get rewarded for failures and few have ever held a real job or know how to balance a checkbook.
The Premier will warn that a SYRIZA government will bring chaos, collapse, plagues of locusts, push Greece out of the Eurozone and end a looming economic recovery for which he’s taken credit without mentioning it was done by punishing workers, pensioners and the poor while letting politicians, the rich, tax cheats and Parliament workers escape with near-impunity.
Tsipras, missing only a well-worn Che Guevara T-Shirt, will retaliate with terror talk tactics that returning Samaras and New Democracy to power will give his opponent a mandate to roll over the few surviving Greeks with more Draconian conditions the Troika will demand.
The coming sideshow will make teen trollops reared by harlot single mothers fighting trisexual apolitical transvestites on the Jerry Springer show less silly than it seems because the charges will be flying fast and furious.
“Victory will be ours,” the Prime Minister said after losing the Presidential vote. “The people will not allow their sacrifices to go to waste,” he said rather confidently for a man who had just had his political head handed to him and is hoping people he steamrolled will support him.
“The country has no time to lose,” Samaras said, adding that the “truth” about the government’s efforts to pull Greece out of five years of crisis will be revealed during the pre-election period.
He didn’t mention why he hasn’t said it since 2012 – the reason being the pain put on the vulnerable without making the oligarchs, tax cheats and wealthy pay their fair share of the recovery. That’s his tennis club crowd so they’re going to be protected again no matter what else is said.
But the biggest scare would be what awaits if Tsipras and the SYRIZA gang win. Default.