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12 October 2013

I know I haven't posted in a long time. Learning Greek, working from home and so on haven't left me with the free hours I was hoping for. Nevertheless, I have been recently involved in political activities again. I would like to it a bit with you. As you might know, I was involved in the Netherlands with the D66 party (social liberal, ALDE member). I even participated in the municipal elections for the Rotterdam centre district. I have always had a soft spot for social liberalism and I think it is the only path to extract Europe out of the current economic quagmire.

Now, if you know a bit about Greece politics, you would know that there is no equivalent to D66 in Greece. Or at least there wasn't until recently. During and after the Second World War, liberals were literally exterminated by the more extremist party militia. So since the 50's, there is no social liberal tradition in Greece. The junta obviously did not improve things in that regards. Recently, three very small parties participated in various elections, never managing to get more than one MP seat and an MEP one. The fragmentation of these centrist parties due to personal issues partially explains it, but also their fundamental ideological differences on some points made it impossible to cooperate.

But last year, a new party was formed, after the calamitous legislative elections, precisely to try and close this gap in the Greek politics. As a friend to one of the founding members and as fellow social liberal, I have decided to participate. This party is called “Kinonia Axion’’ (Society for Values) in Greek and its aim is to create such a social liberal movement at the centre of Greek politics. Its aim is to become an ALDE member at the European level and of course to get MP's, MEP's as well as city councillors elected in the next polls. But much more than this, the party is attempting a very ambitious platform of complete renewal of the system. I will quote their manifesto here:
Our vision for the future of our country is supported by diachronic values, the positive and dynamic elements of the Greek society, and by the highly professional national human workforce. Our mission is:
  • The reformation of the country
  • Economic, social, civic and ecological sustainable development
  • Social cohesion
  • Prosperity of the society as a whole
  • Equal participation in the European Union
Our pursuit is to ensure:
  • Effective democratic laws
  • A state that sponsors the development and prosperity of society
  • Moral and effective governance by people with the requisite will, ethics, merit and capabilities.
Our objective is to ensure:
  • Effective institutions of Participative Democracy, with effective control of the state and transparency.
  • A state of justice , in service to society and an open market
  • The virtuous and effective governance by persons that have the will, the virtue, the values and the faculties to produce results.
  • The creation of constant and long-lasting structures in the operations of the state
  • The integrated functions of the triptych, culture-education-work
  • The ‘’well being’’, the virtuous state and the security of society
Utilizing the principles of Democracy, which was born in our country, and compounded by the exemplary effects of its best practice by European democratic countries, we seek to create a modern Participative Democracy. In order to accomplish this, all of us we have to respond as active citizens, taking the initiative to establish societal values and make this vision a reality for our country.
This is a very ambitious program, I think, but I believe it is worth trying. Because to be honest, without this, Greece will not really ever recover from the current ordeal. In any case, I am proud to participate in this endeavour. In the coming weeks, Kinonia Axion will organise a major political conference in Athens, with guests from D66 (Netherlands), Radikal Venste (Denmark), ALDE (EU liberals), LYMEC (EU liberal Youth) and probably the German FDP. This conference (link), where I will give a short speech, is hold the 25th to 27th October 2013, at the Stratos Vassilikos Hotel in Athens.

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