The start of main opposition SYRIZA’s convention at the Faliro Olympic (Taekwondo) Indoor Hall is kicking off a series of spring party conventions, as it will be followed by those of ruling New Democracy and centre-left KINAL (Movement for Change).

Over the last decade, these three parties took turns in governing the country. Now, they are returning to their political bases in order to hammer out their political platforms and to once again seek the trust of the electorate in the next general elections.

This is a difficult time for all three parties. Greece is once again at a critical turning point, following the decade-long economic crisis and the ensuing crisis wrought by the pandemic, which continue to impact heavily on the daily lives of citizens.

Now is the time for the parties that hope to rule and assume the weighty burden of responsibility to demonstrate that they have learned their lessons and that they will not repeat their mistakes.

All of them will bear a share of responsibility, whether in power or in the opposition, because achieving a consensus on overarching national issues requires political will on all sides.

These conventions should not be used, as in the past, as an opportunity to settle intra-party accounts and rivalries.

On the contrary, they can serve as a springboard for the fashioning of substantial, concrete policies, without the populism and demagoguery that bedevilled the country in the past.

The political impetus and momentum that these conventions can offer are an opportunity to restructure the country’s political system.

Citizens do not have high expectations, yet they are willing to listen.