COMMENT

The right people in the right places

By Alexis Papachelas

I apologize for the uncomfortable reminder, but besides renegotiating, the government which has to be formed today or tomorrow -- at the latest -- will also have to reconstruct the disintegrated state mechanism.

Even if our partners start throwing growth packages in our direction, or whatever else, via parachutes from airplanes next week, nothing will actually change unless there are the people and instruments to carry out the ground work. Hospitals are running the danger of collapsing in August, the energy sector is fast running out of steam, the situation in the defense department has reached a crucial juncture, and the landmark consensus law in education is now hanging in midair.

So while it?s good to talk about renegotiation, which, as Andreas Loverdos suggested, should be carried out by a serious negotiator who enjoys international prestige and staffed by Greeks who have experience in international organizations, what is also needed is a group of knowledgeable ministers, capable of taking the bull by the horns. They don?t have to be MPs; on the contrary, they would perform even better without the accompanying agony of the ballot, without the restricted horizon of a next round of elections.

How difficult can it be to determine who would be the best candidate to handle the public health sector, energy, safety and defense? During the stint of Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos?s caretaker government, cabinet members such as Development Minister Yiannis Stournaras and Defense Minister General Frangoulis Frangos demonstrated what they are capable of.

?But what about whining MPs?? you might ask. Well, why not explain to them that, right now, the country is battling for its survival, which is no joking matter, and has no need of ministers who have learned the art of politics in amphitheaters. This is a time for serious people.

If the political parties which end up participating in the new government make the mistake of recycling the worn-out, post-junta material, there won?t be much to say besides the fact that they will eventually be buried as sad footnotes at the end of a chapter recounting a period of Greek crisis and decline. Greeks who love their country will not tolerate recycled old-style partisan solutions.

In their agony for a solution regarding the governing of the country, many people put their ideological, personal and other obsessions and preferences aside on Sunday. They expect their responsible leaders to do the same, to the nth degree.

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