Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pap Is Gone - For Now...

Do not imagine for one moment that Papandreou is finished. He took a major gamble and at times it looked like he had pulled it off - but in the end spooking Merkozy was a step too far. And the ploy of going to the people with a referendum was never going to play well with the colonial masters in Brussels. However, the fact that he's temporarily vacated the premiership doesn't mean he's finished. Far from it.

First, PASOK is not an ideological party in the same sense as the Greek Communist Party (KKE). PASOK is an organisation based around Papandreou - patronage and nepotism are everything. Parties are assembled around strong leaders, and how they chose to deck themselves ideologically is a secondary concern. Without Papandreou there is no PASOK.

Secondly with a Eurocrat now at the helm, Papandreou can remain on the side-lines until it all goes horribly wrong. When it does, he can rightly point out that he wasn't in charge, that he had been pushed out by the EU and that he's the one who wanted to let the people  have their say. It's a sensible move on his part, even if he was unwilling to let go, he can now side-step some of the blame when it all fails. And of course, he play the martyr card - he has suffered just as the Greek people have suffered...

But, if the miracle occurs and the new government staves off the disaster, Papandreou can still benefit. PASOK was there getting things done. He runs PASOK, therefore he gets some credit. And he could argue that without his interventions things would have been much worse.

It might well be then, that for Papandreou handing over power might only be temporary.

In the meantime, the Greek people are being written out of the story completely. This ought to be a lesson for all the peoples of the EU.

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