As Greece lurches dramatically to its final economic showdown, there is an uncomfortable question that needs to be asked: is there an authoritarian grouping in the country whose seizure of power would be recognized and supported by its European “partners”?
It is absolutely clear at this point that a major objective of the current European leadership is to depose Syriza. But there is no democratic mechanism by which this can be accomplished. Assume an economic breakdown in which Greek savings accounts are wiped out. There will be mass discontent, but it will not be unanimous; many Greeks will see this cataclysm as a deliberate assault to humiliate and suppress them. Without new elections, which are still far off, there will be political upheaval but not regime change. This is where the Party of Order comes in, literally. If there is an alliance between segments of the military and a portion of the business class, it can suspend the constitution and install a new government. I expect that there are discussions in some circles right now about this possibility.
The first question is, who would step into this role? The second is, is any contact between them and key decision-makers in Europe currently taking place?
My personal view is that the old-school authoritarianism of the colonels (echoed in Golden Dawn) is not the primary threat, although I know nothing of the situation on the ground. I suspect Europe is more likely to support a liberal authoritarianism, one that gives lip service to personal freedom and enlightenment ideals. I can imagine some figures from the previous political establishment, backed by tanks, who call for peace, normalization and new elections.
If conversations along these lines are not ongoing, European policy is incoherent.