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Kostadinka Kuneva’s involvement in politics has provoked a debate on social networks

14 April 2014 / 17:04:03  GRReporter
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Trade unionist Kostadinka Kuneva from Bulgaria, who was splashed with acid in December 2008 by attackers unknown to date, will be a candidate for the European Parliament from the radical left SYRIZA party instead of from "To Potami" of journalist Stavros Theodorakis as sources had claimed.

The news that she has accepted the proposal of the leader of the main opposition party in Greece, the radical left SYRIZA, to be included in its ballot for the European elections has provoked violent discussions after the Greek media have disseminated it.

The majority of the criticism is related to the choice of the political space that she aims to represent in the European Parliament. One group of the comments are positive towards her nomination. Their authors rely on the strength of her character as well as on her dignity after the brutal attack on her and on the symbolism of such a person. According to them Kostadinka Kuneva is one of the few positive exceptions on the ballot of the leftists.

The other group of users, however, say they are unpleasantly surprised by the fact that Kuneva has chosen to run from SYRIZA, "Precisely because she is a very serious person I did not expect that she would be involved in a party that constantly changes its positions." They emphasize that what impresses them about her is "this courage that we see very rarely. This is very important for me but I do not however think that it makes her suitable to be a Member of the European Parliament."

Most compelling are the users who are wondering what makes Kuneva such an important person. "Does the fact that you are a victim magically turn you into a good politician?" they ask, adding that the preference for persons like her "aims directly at the feelings of voters thus cancelling the completely rational dimension of politics." These commentators accuse SYRIZA of wanting to take advantage of voters’ sympathy to Kostadinka Kuneva.

Despite the criticism, however, Kostadinka Kuneva is defined as one of the few positive exceptions on the ballot of the leftists. "Imagine half of the ballot of "Elia"("Olive" - the name of the new centre-left formation, involving PASOK - author’s note) consisting of half of the members of PASOK central committee and the other half of various TV stars. There is no need to say what they would talk about. But actually this is the composition of the ballot paper for the European elections of the party that, as we all know, brings new morality in politics," is the sarcastic comment of an "Elia" candidate for a Member of the European Parliament.

Indeed, the SYRIZA list of candidates for Members of the European Parliament contains 20 names closely related to party members. The remaining 14 people include, in addition to Kostadinka Kuneva, three more trade unionists, two university teachers, three journalists, an actress, one of the cleaners dismissed from the Ministry of Finance, the scientific associate of GSEE (the Confederation of Workers in Greece), and activist for the rights of Roma in Greece Sabiha Suleiman, whose interview for GRReporter is available here.

Stelios Kouloglou, who only a few days ago presented his latest film about Angela Merkel "The Godmother", and Nikos Xidakis, chief editor of "Kathimerini" newspaper, stand out among the journalists.

The nominations were selected through a party vote despite Alexis Tsipras’ proposal to exclude non-party candidates from this procedure. It is expected that the other places on the ballot will be taken by persons who are not members of SYRIZA, but cooperate with the party. According to sources, the debates are more than dynamic, the nominations of economists Yiannis Varoufakis and Kostas Lapavitsas being the most controversial.

Tags: PoliticsEuropean electionsEuropean ParliamentSYRIZAKostadinka KunevaNominations
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