Too little too late

samaras 49Heads of state have many duties to their countries – in fact in spite of their power, their obligations far outweigh their freedoms. In the case of Greek Prime Minister Mr Antonis Samaras, one of his obligations is to keep the country united these troubled times, and the society intact even as we are edging closer to elections.

That is why his weekend televised speech offering a way out of the current deadend seemed half-hearted and even downright fake. His promise to hold elections in 2015, while at the same time pleading for solidarity in the face of the ongoing negotiations with the troika come only after the first round of the presidential elections in Parliament. In other words, Mr Samaras’ speech was a necessary weapon to use in his arsenal, nothing more. Had he meant it, this kind of move would have come months, if not years earlier.

It is inconceivable that during these turbulent times, government and opposition still have not sat down and discussed the current state of things. It is inconceivable that the Prime Minister does not play the role of the ‘bigger man’ which his position demands and invite SYRIZA leader Mr Alexis Tsipras for a chat; away from the cameras, away from the media. It can be done – many others have done it. How can we expect society not to be torn apart by political rivalry when the parties themselves are unable to simply work it out?

The reaction to Mr Samaras’ proposals have been somewhat expected. Most opposition parties underline that nothing has changed and we should move swiftly towards elections. Not sure what that will solve, but it is probably likely that this is what Mr Samaras wants as well. How else can the erratic behavior of the last few weeks be explained? The embarrassing admission that the bailout deal is not over, the apparent lack of support from Europe, the internal strife and kneejerk reactions to ongoing scandals. And finally the sudden announcement regarding the presidential elections.

What was therefore aim of Sunday’s televised speech? A show of faith? An attempt to plead with the MPs? Whatever it was, it arrived too late; and only after the disappointing results of the first round and that is why we can only doubt its sincerity. If Mr Dimas had collected 174 votes (for example) would we have seen Mr Samaras on TV on Sunday evening?

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