Monday , April 15 2024

Facing a new change of polity* (by Giorgos Kontogiannis)

Squares downtown Athens are filled, every single evening.

The squares are filled with people who call themselves ‘indignant’.

‘Indignant’, due the continuous implementation of political measures and the unfair economical restraint.

‘Indignant’, due the absence of effective government policies that would favour peoples’ interests.

‘Indignant’ due the lack of responsible and credible opposition.

due the lack of national communication among the political parties that
could and would implement a different new policy, capable of pulling
the country out of this crisis.

‘Indignant’ due the lack of a
strong front that can withstand the aspirations of economic lobbies that
bet on the country’s bankrupt.

Perhaps ‘indignant’ with
themselves. During the last national elections a lot of them – wheedled
from the media’s sirens – choose going to swim instead of voting; thus
“compliant to” the absolute dominance of political forces which fell
short of the circumstances.

These silently angry citizens – that
are to this day protesting in an unprecedentedly peaceful manner in the
squares of the country – signal the beginning of a process that will
lead to the new change of polity.

There – under the stairs of the
Parliament – the conditions are formed, conditions that will lead to
the cancellation for all us standing at the top of the square, in the
Parliament. Though we are still unable to comprehend the situation, and
if we really want to save the politics and democracy, we must first and
foremost to change ourselves; change our stance towards this situation.

We must abandon the rationales, mentalities and perceptions that led us here.

We have to prove to the Greek people that we have learnt from our mistakes.

must convince the people that from now on, before our parliamentary
seat and the interests of our party, we put first the interests of our
country. A country that almost every one of us – for some more whilst
for others less – has plundered, or at best has not given the
appropriate amount of respect that it rightfully deserves.

distinctiveness of the “indignant” citizens inundating the towns is the
fact that they still have not got a leader. And maybe they never will.
Each day passing, however, this movement is intensified rather than
weakened. This suggests that if at some point an “explosion” occurs, it
will be so powerful and so violent that the events of the Tahrir square
in comparison will be heaven!

As politicians we know the path we should follow. The question is whether we have the courage to do so.

is not in the least comforting to hear from young parliamentarians of
the major parties that “we must act in a certain manner, in order not to
be absent from the next parliament formation; so can have a saying in
future developments that may come”. In other words, is their re-election
what really matters to them? Hiding behind the label and image of their
party and remaining silent in order to offend as few as possible, they
seek to be re-elected. And who told them that the salvation of this
country has anything to do with their personal re-election? Perhaps,
eventually, the country will be better of without politicians who are
only interested in their re-election.

However the ‘indignant’
citizens must realise that the solution should be given by the
politicians. This is how democracy works. The solutions are given by the
elected politicians. Not by the military, not by the media, not by
entrepreneurs, not by the priesthood, not by any extra-institutional
factor. And if they think that these 300 are not representing them
properly, then they ought to elect another 300 that would represent them
appropriately. This is the way democracy works.

We the MPs, from
our side need to understand that when we took an oath on the Gospel, we
promised to protect the Constitution, the laws of the country and to
defend the interests of the people and our homeland. We have not taken
an oath to pursue the creation of conditions that will promote our
re-election or to serve the temporary interests of the parties and their

So if people and politicians understand these basic
truths, then a solution to the problems of the country will be gradually
found. We also – with a new way of thinking and perception that we
should adopt – will be the ones that will lead the creation of the new
political reality, the new change of polity.

The new change of polity has begun; whether we are a part of it or not, depends solely on us.

*The change of polity – The Metapolitefsi (Greek: Μεταπολίτευση, translated as change of polity or regime change)
was a period in Greek history after the fall of the Greek military
junta of 1967–1974 that includes the transitional period from the fall
of the dictatorship to the Greek legislative elections of 1974 and the
democratic period immediately after these elections.”
From the Wikipedia


The article is also published in Greekin the Greek online opinion magazine