Power often makes those who exercise it cynical. The cynicism of power, however, must have limits. It cannot and should not be unbounded cynicism, as that displayed by the leader of SYRIZA, and the slightly different type of cynicism exhibited by his party.

The voices in SYRIZA against the party’s junior coalition partner are hypocritical. They knew very well not just who they were governing with, but also with whom they embraced on election night and during the vote of confidence in parliament, whom they applauded when he used unseemly speech in parliament, with whose unbecoming attacks they laughed, whom they covered for and justified when he visited a casino, and with whom they agreed when he used his position in a non-institutional manner.

The stance of the prime minister is also cynical, as he hears these voices and prefers to turn a deaf ear. It is the cynicism of power that makes him ignore what party cadres are telling him, albeit belatedly, and proceed hand-in-hand with his coalition partner until the end – whether that end comes in a manner that cannot be controlled or with a pre-agreed rupture.

Cynicism is hardly unknown in politics, but it will always be condemnable. Citizens do not elect their governments for prime ministers and ministers to play their games with whatever reserves of cynicism they may have.

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