The extreme right-wing party of Karatzeferis (Laos) has gained even more ground in the (hopefully) interim coalition government. In an article in Deutsche Welle yesterday, Jannis Papadimitriou writes
In the political theater of the past few weeks surrounding the infamous bailout referendum, snap elections and the formation of a coalition government, Karatzaferis played the noble statesman.
And while Papandreou and Saramas squabbled as they maneuvered around their political stalemate, Karatzaferis repeatedly pleaded for a government of national unity, going so far as to call on President Karolos Papoulias to let him lead the government and put the two main parties firmly in their place. The well-known Athens journalist Alexis Papachelas told the TV broadcaster Skai that he couldn’t believe his ears when he heard that: “We’ve sunk so low today that someone like Karatzaferis embodies the voice of reason.”
The LAOS now has four seats in the transitional government
Now he’s harvesting the fruits of his tactics, and four ministers from the Popular Orthodox Rally have been included in the new transitional government.
In Greece, right-wing populists seem to have become socially acceptable. Should the mainstream parties continue their disputes, Karatzaferis the survivalist could hope for more.
For those of you who are still in doubt about Karatzaferis and his cronies past (and present) affiliations and opinions, please read this article at When the Crisis hits the Fan. Greek blog are full of writing and much outrage about the extreme right wing politicians who have cleverly positioned themselves into power but this is one of the few I have found in English for my non-Greek readers.
Also, beware… Karatzaferis is already muttering about it perhaps being unecessary to hold elections in February…
Karatzaferis said there was no reason to put an expiry date on the government if it proved successful.”If it fails, it will leave anyway,” he said. “If it needs more time to complete its task we are not going to stop it. It was a tentative date and Mr Samaras is an intelligent man.”
For further reading on the dangers of the extremist Laos party, there is this commentary piece in the conservative Kathimerini “Personal interests ahead of national good” by Pantelis Boukalas
Don’t underestimate the threat. Strangely, most media have presented the involvement of the ultranationalist LAOS party in the transition administration not only as natural and painless but also as constructive and productive.
It almost feels like LAOS is a group of colorful politicians with a soft spot for smart sound bites who spend most of their time parading through Greece’s television studios — instead of what it really is: a political party that accommodates the worst kind of nationalists, apologists of Greece’s military junta (as well as late Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas), immigrant bashers, anti-Semites, former members of the nationalist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) organization, and bigoted preachers of the notion that building a mosque in Athens — with or without a minaret — would signal an attack on the Hellenic nation.