Reigning supreme over this Golgotha is Greece’s enormous, and growing, leadership gap that makes the future of the country look even bleaker than what pessimists perceive.
The incumbent “socialist” regime of George Papandreou is riding dead in water, its grotesque carousel of nearly 50 ministers stampeding daily in an orgy of legislation for lack of any other practical form of “governing.” Such is the confusion and haste of this free-for-all that even those who put together harebrained bills are clueless concerning the impact of the vicious slash-and-burn action upon the dying Greek economy and the pauperized millions of Greeks.
With Papandreou himself increasingly distant from hard everyday realities, and sinking in a self-induced narcosis by means of enjoying pastimes that make him feel pleased and safe -- like convening random international workshops, prominent by their irrelevance to Greece’s current plight, and acting out his fantasies of being an international statesman -- the burden of managing the country has fallen on his deputy, finance minister Venizelos, a constitutional law prof, who is equally overwhelmed and deeply dazed by the brutalities of the fiscal crisis and outside “technical assistance,” viz. thinly-veiled direct foreign occupation, not to mention the accelerating disintegration of Greece’s state and society.
As a result, the Papandreou regime, by virtue of its suicidal surrender to creditors and its methodical disarticulation of the country in the name of “priorities” obvious only to foreign bankers, is leading Greece to a mathematically preordained full bankruptcy, whose prospect cannot be hidden any longer behind the “make-up language,” so dear to regime propagandists, which has given rise to such nonsense “concepts” like “selective restructuring,” “structured default,” “credit event” and all the rest of that loan shark poppycock .
The alternatives to the Papandreou regime are equally disheartening.
The main opposition New Democracy party, whose collapse in the 2009 elections ushered in the Papandreou regime and the troika Armageddon, has rebounded significantly since its wilderness days thanks to the singular efforts of its leader, Antonis Samaras.
Samaras’s determined and honest one-man show, however, is hardly enough to create credible prospects of alternative government under the present circumstances of total collapse. New Democracy carries much baggage from its recent disastrous past and has failed so far to re-calibrate itself into a coherent force for political, economic, and social change.
The smaller opposition parties are equally and hopelessly hobbled. From the Stalinist Communist Party, peaceful and motionless in its deep ossified slumber, to the pinkish, politically correct Coalition of the Left; and from the nationalist Greek Orthodox Rally to the amorphous independent parliamentary cells, housing renegades from the larger parliamentary parties, opposition past New Democracy remains of narrow political gauge and limited practical role outside that of the occasional spoiler in fermenting social and labor unrest or hollow jousting with the Papandreou regime by increasing the volume and pitch of its polemics.
Greece is thus rudderless, its bridge long abandoned and deserted, at the most critical time of its post-war existence.
And the heavy seas are not just economic and social. With severely diminished sovereignty thanks to the troika invasion, weakening national defense, and a steadily widening gap in domestic security, Greece faces increasing real threats of outside intervention and/or domestic “irregular” instability that could be easily fomented within the unregulated and unmonitored swaying mass of predominantly Muslim illegal immigrants that is filling the country.
The Papandreou regime, politically paralyzed from top to bottom and morally bankrupt all round, is toying dangerously with defense spending cuts, not to mention the complete abandonment of law enforcement beyond maintaining anti-riot capabilities in order to suppress citizens rising against their extinction by unemployment, vicious taxation, hunger, homelessness, and outside occupation.
Meantime, none of Greece’s “friendly” neighbors have given up on demands upon Greek territorial integrity or expansionist policies aimed primarily at the rich seabed of the Aegean Sea.
Leaders wanted. But can they be found?