The traditional cat-and-dog fight in the Thessaloniki Fair, the one event that launches every year the ever-contentious political debate in Greece, has sprung this year a surprise. Few pointed it, but it is still there.
Both Prime Minister Tsipras and Opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis started shifting (vote-catching) emphasis from the plights of Greek pensioners-and-taxpayers to the travails of the younger generation in the country. Or to those of the “brain-drain” crowd leaving Greece in droves. This shift shows clearly that traditional Greek politics, clearly loaded in favour of an old-age electorate, are reaching the end of their usefulness.
Also from both parts of the political spectrum there is an effort to project an intention to cut taxes; not so much in the old-fashioned way of providing goodies to the audience, but rather as a component of an investment-catching policy.
A third common field of politicians’ entreaties is a shift in political debate over the economy towards an extrovert, export-centered production model for Greece – such a model being expected to integrate high-end technologies. (True enough, this part of the political equation is largely based on a diet laden with hopes and good intentions…).
Last but by no means least, both Government and Opposition – and their political platforms less than one year from the end of the current (Third) Adjustment Programme for Greece – are clearly accepting that the path leading to some sort of future goes through the country sticking to the Euro area and its unpleasant discipline. It is only the proposed policy mix that differs, with more of a tax component for the ruling leftist (well…) SYRIZA, more of a cuts-based review of public expenditure for right-wing Nea Dimocratia.