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Eleftherotypia: Left - Right and Terrorism in Greece [T. Michas, 10/8/02]

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  • Greek Helsinki Monitor
    ELEFTHEROTYPIA - 10/08/2002 Left - Right and Terrorism in Greece [translated by GHM from the original in Greek:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2002
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      ELEFTHEROTYPIA - 10/08/2002

      Left - Right and Terrorism in Greece

      [translated by GHM from the original in Greek:
      http://www.enet.gr/online/online_p1_fpage_text.jsp?dt=10/08/2002&id=68246304]

      By TAKIS MICHAS

      In his recent oral and written statements, Andreas Andrianopoulos, the
      conservative politician and television interview-show host, accused the
      Greek Left and of being largely responsible for terrorism in Greece. He is
      right on some points and wrong on others.

      It is absolutely legitimate for Mr. Andrianopoulos to raise the question of
      the connection between the ideology the organization invokes and the
      practice it follows. One can be sure, had it been discovered that "November
      17" was a royalist organization, then the leftwing newspapers would have
      filled their pages with stuff on the connection between the ideology of
      "monarcho-fascism" and the organization's terrorist practice. Thus, at the
      level of political rhetoric, Mr. Andrianopoulos is absolutely correct to
      raise this question.

      However, one wonders whether the purported ideological connection between
      the Left and "November 17" has any basis at the more profound level of
      political analysis. The ideology of "November 17" - a blend of
      national-bolshevism, nationalistic anti-imperialism and vulgar
      anti-Americanism - runs rife throughout every political body and faction,
      including the New Democracy Party. Besides, Mr. Andrianopoulos himself has
      repeatedly stressed that on every crucial issue - globalization, the market
      economy, NATO, the war in Bosnia, US relations, etc. - the views of top New
      Democracy political delegates are virtually identical to those of certain
      Leftist groups.

      After all, wasn't it Mr. Molyviatis, the elder N.D. statesman, and Mr.
      Pavlopoulos, the N.D. Parliamentary spokesperson, who signed appeals in
      favor of Abdullah Ocalan in Greece? Wasn't it Yannis Manolis, the chief
      N.D. trade unionist, who launched a tirade against globalization on the
      occasion of the Genoa meetings? Isn't it a fact that Mr. Lykourezos, a N.D.
      candidate, was never asked to recall his campaign leaflet containing photos
      of Bosnia's arch-terrorist, General Mladic? Mr. Andrianopoulos also ignores
      in his analysis what the poll published in the April "PRESS" magazine
      revealed - namely, that in some instances the number of those supporting
      "November 17" was higher among New Democracy voters than among supporters
      of the socialist PASOK governing party

      To be specific, the percent of New Democracy voters who saw "November 17"
      as "social revolutionaries" exceeded the corresponding percent in PASOK -
      9.3% as opposed to 7.8%

      Likewise, the percent of New Democracy backers who agreed with the
      political-ideological positions of the terrorist organization exceeded the
      corresponding percent of PASOK - 23.6% as opposed to 21.8%.
      Finally, the percent of individuals who suggested that the organization
      continue with its terrorist activities was higher in the New Democracy than
      it was in PASOK - 7.8% as opposed to 5.5%.

      In other words, it is highly problematic to view the ideology of "November
      17" as having any particular connection with the Left because, in the final
      analysis, the Left - Right dichotomy has no meaning in Greece these days.
      When the Archbishop of Greece Christodoulos recently told a communist KKE
      deputy that he agreed more with the deputy's views than with those of other
      parties; when, during the war in Kosovo, the leader of the New Democracy
      party accused Prime Minister Kostas Simitis of not being anti-imperialist
      enough (!); and finally when the honorary president of the New Democracy
      ascribed the overthrow of Mr. Milosevic to a German conspiracy (!), then it
      is obvious that the concepts of Left and Right are totally inadequate in
      describing the ideological set-up that prevails in Greece today.

      One wonders of course whether the Left - Right dichotomy has ever been a
      useful conceptual tool for analyzing the deeper significance of events in
      Greece. Isn't it true after all that this political-ideological dichotomy
      is the offspring of the European Enlightenment, and as such an integral
      part of Western European cultural development? And if this is the case,
      then how can we use it in order to shed light on developments in rural
      Balkan societies, such as Greece - societies which, as Cyril Mango and,
      more recently, Samuel Huntington have maintained, never had any particular
      relationship or connection to the culture of the West?
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