No more unfounded promises

By Alexis Papachelas

One good thing has come from Lucas Papademos?s unity government and that is that none of the participants in it will be able to turn around after the next elections if voted into power and feign ignorance about the sorry state of the country?s affairs or say that they somehow, miraculously, found some money after all. Participation in the government denies any political party vying for our vote the right to make unfounded promises. The leaders as well as leading officials in all three parties in the government know firsthand that the state?s coffers are empty, banks are desperate and Greece?s creditors are adamant on the reform agenda they have outlined for the country. They know what CACs are, what a disorderly default would entail, for how long you can threaten creditors with a partial default and what exiting the euro would ultimately mean for Greece.

Whatever illusions they once fostered should be well and truly dispelled by now. They should know that renegotiating has its limits, that Greece is highly unlikely to find any money outside of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and that our EU peers are frantically preparing their own protection in case Greece decides to pull the trigger on itself.

It is obvious that results are beginning to come from the fact that politicians are starting to understand what is at stake if they keep going the way have done so far. New Democracy?s Antonis Samaras, for instance, has adopted a more realistic and moderate stance on a number of issues recently, showing that he has a better grasp of the situation.

Irrespective of disagreements on numerous crucial issues, there is a sense that the three parties are beginning to share a feeling of joint responsibility. Some are obviously much more in favor of the collaborative effort than others, but when you know the ship is sinking, and that ship is your country, however cynical you are you will for that moment put aside your personal and political differences.

The political leaders of this country know much better now than they did last October just what they have to deal with. Naturally, they will keep the heat up before the election race and continue to stoke the sympathies of their voters, but they know that premature elections would mean the death of the country and suicide for whoever chooses to govern alone, without national consensus.