Let’s start with a brief round-up of the election here in Greece, as you all know by now, New Democracy won and is continuing its term as government. Despite the cabinet reshuffle however and the news that LAOS is in parliament, the doubling of KKE's representation in parliament etc, the biggest news here is PASOK's poor showing in the election and the repercussions this has had in the party.
I suppose this is because PASOK is like a monolith in Greek politics, and has a pervasive presence. Its leader George Papandreou called for new elections for party president. And within a heartbeat, before you could say goodnight, Evangelos Venizelos announced that he would run. The party is currently dividing itself between the two camps and is debating how and when the new elections should take place.
As a result, no one seems to care who the new cabinet is, who is out and who is in. The way things look, Prime Minister Karamanlis could do anything he likes and no one would take notice. Who cares about the government of Greece, PASOK is tearing itself apart!
And of course, amidst this time of confusion, Frappe man has a struck again!
Frappe man is a bit of a character in Greek life. He has made it a point to pour Frappe (a Greek invention – instant coffee, whipped up to a thick concoction and drunk cold) on politicians he believes are doing a below than average job. His colourful career started when he poured frappe on the then Education Minister Arsenis (PASOK) as an act of protest at the state of the education system (an opinion shared by many). He continued by targeting other ministers, changing his MO a couple of times to water or eggs, depending on what his feeling was towards the minister/victim/incompetent fool.
This time his target is the party challenger, Venizelos. Catching the police, and security detail by surprise, he poured the frappe on Venizelos’ jacket, before being subdued. Rightly or wrongly, there is always a nice feeling when a politician gets dirtied by an average citizen. Politics is after all a dirty game, and who said that it was a game just for politicians. Venizelos immediately blamed the dark Papandreou forces for this attack, and is pressing charges for this outrageous attack against his self and life. Instead of shrugging it off, he has blown this out of all proportion.
Its politicians like this who take themselves a bit too seriously that make the average citizen want to take them down a notch, or worse, that led to the low voter turn out, which was something like 30%, a percentage greater that what KKE got. Their pomposity and self importance has distanced themselves from the voter, perhaps any party wishing to win should listen to frappe man, a person who is just expressing his angst and desperation in the only way he could. Politicians need to get closer to their roots, the people they are supposed to represent.
I think frappe man spoke for many Greeks.
Hmm Ten thousand people take to the streets over the environment and get a front page here and there, one man and a frappe get hours on TV, and is in almost every paper… hmmm
I am off to order another frappe now…