COMMENT

PM’s last chance for drastic step

Greece's prime minister has finally come to realize what every experienced analyst pointed out the day after last October's general elections: There is no avoiding the introduction of tough measures if the administration really wants to pull the country out of the fiscal hole into which it has dug itself. What George Papandreou, a socialist, did not realize at the time, was that the only dilemma was whether the measures would be imposed at his own initiative or under the full supervision of the European Union and the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund. There is no longer any room to maneuver, as local banks and enterprises have began to suffocate, paying the price for the government's hesitation in tackling the situation. Papandreou has one last chance for decisive action. In this, he will have the backing of the conservative opposition and a significant section of the voting public, which is prepared to make the necessary sacrifices for the sake of the country. But the responsibility lies with PM Papandreou alone.

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