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21° Nicosia,
16 October, 2019
 
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With courage and moderation

But how will we now close the accounts of the past and stop arguing about what happened 44 or 75 years ago?

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

It is often said Greece’s post-dictatorship era ended with SYRIZA’s defeat. But how will we now close the accounts of the past and stop arguing about what happened 44 or 75 years ago? And how will Greece look ahead to resolve its accumulated problems – now we are done with ideological fixations and have lived the “dream” of the Left in power?

In any case, the cycle was coming to a close during SYRIZA’s time in government. Alexis Tsipras buried many sacred cows of the post-dictatorship era, some with words and a few with actions. Still, in many fields, like education, security and morality, and in governance, we moved significantly backward. And now is time to take leaps forward.

There are forces that will wage their own tough battle against these leaps. They still live with the illusion that they will avenge the defeat of December 1944 or relive November 1973 under different terms.

The scrapping of the university asylum law and the plan to connect the National Archaeological Museum with the National Technical University of Athens will spark hopes among these forces of fresh mass movements, sit-ins, sieges and whatever else an obsessed mind can dream up.

Those that are calling for the “recapture of Exarchia now” are water to these forces’ mill.

Everything needs to be done in a balanced but bold way. Society wants to move ahead; it doesn’t care about yesterday. De-dramatization is the best antidote to extremism.

Asylum is not some holy grail but about ensuring that our children enjoy safe universities, as in the rest of the world.

Should Tsipras return to proto-SYRIZA’s reactionary slogans, he will seriously damage the country.

He will also damage himself because only a very small share of the 30.5 percent want him to switch back to his pre-2015 demeanor.

Doing so would sever his ties with the political center and surrender it to Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Winter will show if he will resist the temptation.

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