Daniel Howden: A political class rent asunder by tribalism

  • @howden_africa

Since the end of Greece's dictatorship, two parties have taken turns to rule. While nominally to the left and right of the political spectrum, socialist Pasok and conservative New Democracy are best understood as tribes. They bought, or at least hired, public support through a patronage machine that distributed jobs and contracts which reached into every nook of the economy.

Political connections decided whether everything from income tax to parking tickets were paid – no item too large or too small. And both parties showed a tribal preference to be led by dynasties. Over the last week this system has shown itself to be incapable of acting in the national interest. The only calculations it can make are ones of narrow partisan advantage in the face of public exhaustion and disgust.