The Greek reality in August beats the suspense of any drama series
Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras

According to a poll published by the BILD newspaper, which has a special section dedicated to the Greek crisis and the figure of Mr. Alexis Tsipras as a cover, SYRIZA manages to reach a meagre 28%, for the coming elections, thus losing any chance for absolute majority. This poll created hot news in Greece and went viral. SYRIZA is to hold an emergency congress in September and the leaks are overflowing the ex-governing party. The group of 53, a most influential group within the party, is considering their departure, while the General Secretary of SYRIZA, Tasos Koronakis, has already resigned. “SYRIZA in crisis” is the title of an article on the e-edition of the “Vima” journal, while it also states that: “The latest departure illustrates the turmoil and tension within the governing party”.

Thus, SYRIZA is officially divided, while the late August news is based on speculations on who is going to stay or leave. The second Deputy President of the Greek Parliament, Yannis Balafas, declares on the independent press website of TVXS that “SYRIZA is a profoundly European party and proves that in practice, at the same time that the “leading powers” of Europeare simply taking care of their national economy…The discussions in both  German and Dutch Parliaments for the ratification of the agreement have been revealing, as in those discussions the speeches of the ‘leaders’ on the issue of the assurance of their own money prevailed (if they did not dominate the agenda)”. Mr. Balafas comments on a greatly quoted remark about the SYRIZA government, which has been widely referred by its opponents as a “left parenthesis” in the Greek parliamentary history. He categorically states that “there will be no parenthesis”.

At the same time, another independent source of information, the Pandora’s Box, on its website refers to the group guided by Mr. Balafas, the group “Platform 2010”, which supports the hope of the ex-Prime Minister for a government of absolute majority. At the same time, though, another Yanis (with one ‘n’), Mr. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance “slash pop icon”, has stated in “Die Welt” and is quoted on the Pandora’s Box website to be characterizing Mr. Tsipras as a traitor who “has not betrayed me, personally, but he betrayed the majority of the Greek people”. According to the latest news on August 27th, the former Minister of Finance was kicked out of the party of SYRIZA, without the right to stand for parliament in the September elections.

The August has been politically hotter than July. What’s going on for real? Is SYRIZA indeed a left parenthesis, a semicolon or a full stop? Or can these quotation marks apply to SYRIZA in general? I would opt for a question mark “?”. Is the political party dissolving in its constituents or will it manage to gather all these obviously contravening trends? Under which roof?

Mr. Tsipras, in the context of an interview for Alpha TV to the journalist Ms. Sophia Papaioannou, on the evening news, on Wednesday the 26th, insisted that:

“Ι could not govern during this time. Under which conditions did I have to govern? Under the conditions of suffocation…with the gun on our head, with the continuous anxiety if I could pay the salaries and the pensions… No one could charge me, for the the seven months of our government, with the evils of the last 40 years…Our battles were hard. Our government could not govern due to the financial incapacity”. Then he goes on saying that youths in their 20s are “lost” for Greece as they opted for a chance abroad. He believes that we need roughly eight years to stand properly on our feet and he mentions that he has two sons (3 and 5 years old, respectively) that will hopefully study and prosper in Greece of the future.  But his winning argument is as follows: “Who could do it better than me?”. The “it” obviously refers to the implementation of the agreement that was concluded between his government and the European institutions and governments. The word “battle” is frequently quoted in his interview: more than twenty times. The hot question then arises: how does Mr. Tsipras feel about the leaks and departures from SYRIZA? He says that it is a most unpleasant development, but not an unexpected one. He insists that there is a difference about a strategic choice: “30% of SYRIZA has always had the opinion that we should not stay in the Eurozone… What upsets me the most is that there is this civil war and that the enemy comes from the interior of SYRIZA… After having, personally, guaranteed that there will be no breakdown for the banks, I was exposed to the hostile remarks, once addressed to our opponents, of my comrades. All this stands aside from the framework of my political ethics”. He calls then the most competent Greeks to rush to the battle.

At the same time, Ms. Zoe Konstantopoulou, the Member of Parliament from SYRIZA legendary for her fierce remarks and her powerful temperament, is to found another political party. Probably, this may already happen on Monday (according to the newspaper “Efimerida twn Syntaktwn” on its front page of the 26th of August issue).

Monday is the last day of August. Yet the news is still coming. Every single day, every single minute many events are hapenning in Greece. News is abundant as the political time runs faster than conventional time. The Greek TV channels, the press, the electronic and social media are filled with: referenda, elections, stabs in the back by ex-comrades, leaks and departures, announcements, interviews, revelations, contradictions, passionate declarations, allegations of treason, betrayals and deceptions, the heart versus the mind, a confession from the “heart” of the Prime Minister. At the same time, in Albania, a Greek orthodox church has been torn down in Chimmara giving rise to fervent reactions from both countries, while a young blackrefugee from Africa, passed the Pan-Hellenic university admission exams and ranked first at his university .He dedicated his success to his parents and siblings, who are not alive. The Greek reality in August beats the suspense of any drama series.

Being continuously exposed to this drama, as a Greek citizen, and before the upcoming elections (in a sequence of never ending elections), I remember the words of Pinter in his speech upon receiving the Nobel prize for literature, in 2005: “Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even  the truth of their own lives”.