Former Greek PM: We are seeing two issues that can undermine democracy
By CGTN's Dialogue
“We are in a global world, we are connected. And that cannot be changed”, George Papandreou said.
CGTN Dialogue spoke to the former Greek Prime Minister during the Imperial Spring Forum in Guangzhou. Papandreou elaborated on his view about the new landscape of the world order today.
“The old world order on one hand has been created and developed by the West. Therefore there is real voice of the new emerging powers.
“But we do not completely disrupt the world because there are a lot of forces saying that ‘Oh we must leave globalization and go back to our nationalism’.”
He also explained why Western democracy could meet long term challenges in this era of heightened global conflict and uncertainty.
“There are two issues that could undermine democracy. One is demagoguery, or maybe you can call it populism today; and the other is inequality,” Papandreou said. “We are seeing both in developed societies.
“The sense of inequality is sense of injustice. If there is injustice, you see the society divided, that can also bring the leadership divided.
“Demagoguery is basically the kind of false promises that you create to install either fear or false hopes, which then ended with frustration and dead ends.”
In reference to what happened in Catalonia at the end of 2017, the former Greek PM indicated that even democracy could harm certain groups of people with the “tyranny of the majority”.
“In democratic society, we say that even the minority should have a voice,” Papandreou added. “You cannot have a referendum which will create problems for the minority.”
“It could be quite divisive if the majority imposes on the minority, who do not want that decision, particularly on something very basic.”
Speaking about the question, “if China is ready to take the leadership of globalization”, he believes that the country will have to face its new role whether ready or not.
“Sometimes in political leadership, you don’t always have the chance to get ready. It comes to you,” he stated. “You have to deal with it. It could be a crisis, it could be a new role, could be a new power.”
“What China is facing is a new role. But it doesn’t mean the same type of leadership that the US had in the past.”
Dialogue with Yang Rui is a 30-minute current affairs talk show on CGTN. It airs daily at 7.30 p.m. BJT (1130GMT), with rebroadcasts at 3.30 a.m. (1930GMT) and 11.30 a.m. (0330GMT)