The current Greek government has been in power for about 4 months now. Personally, I would not have voted for this government, if I had even voted. This is not to say that I would never vote for the Greek Socialist Party but this last particular election somehow seemed stolen to me. The socialist party did everything they could to make the functioning of the previous conservative government impossible. Living abroad I tend to see the Greek political scene different from my friends and relatives in Greece. They tend to see everything in terms of right vs. left, or, New Democracy (conservatives) vs. PASOK (socialists). I don’t believe the right-left divide offers much help in understanding politics, especially in Greece.
However, one thing that I do believe, and I think most Greeks would have to agree with me, is that in Greece the left is not exactly pro-armed forces. Greeks tend to exaggerate things, especially in politics, and lately a picture has been forming in my mind that proves to me, once again, that a socialist government in Greece will never properly cater for the defence of the country.
When the current government came to power, I must admit, I did have a glimmer of hope that some things at least would change. Let’s face it, you can’t do much worse than the last lot. And then it started. The new Prime Minister did a 180 on his pre election statements of the type: there’s enough money to go around to: what we found when we took power is that there is no money and that this threatens our sovereignty. And low and behold, the spread on Greek bonds sky rocketed and now the Prime Minister has stated that Greece has lost a part of its national sovereignty. Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.
It seems that things like the nation state, sovereignty, defence and military somehow cause an allergic reaction to PASOK politicians. They still see themselves as the great defenders against the military junta of old. This means that anything related to defence, including defending your country, are somehow bad things.
The PM’s comment about losing part of our national sovereignty did not go down well with either opposition leader Samaras or members of the armed forces. Yesterday was the official acceptance of the 12 Apache helicopters of the 2nd Attack Helicopter Battalion. Government officials did not bother to attend. After all, it’s only the military. As time goes by it seems clearer and clearer that the Armed Forces will be used for everything but their true role. When will the PASOK party in Greece finally understand that the military is not the enemy?