What should we expect from the PASOK Congress? Regrettably for PASOK and the other parties, the average Greek expects nothing from this fundamental institutional procedure. But Greeks expect a good deal from Prime Minister Costas Simitis – perhaps more than any prime minister could give. For this reason, it is of note that the citizen will expect that a Simitis newly confirmed in his position will complete the most important of the things he set out to do. The people want to see infrastructure projects, the absorption of the famous funds from the Third Community Support Framework so that our State can, at long last, become somewhat more modern. They expect him to improve the state of the economy so that, even if stock market players do not get their money back, at least there will be a job for their children. They would like to see a public administration which cares more about its citizens. They hope that the Greek State, as in other advanced countries, will put more into health and education and that the ever-higher contributions of the taxpayer will translate into more efficient public services. They would also like to see a country with a say in the international arena. It is on the basis of these expectations that people will vote when the time comes for them to express their will. And the citizen’s vote outweighs that of the government delegate. Our society needs a flexible and effective network for fighting poverty and social exclusion, rather than giving indiscriminate handouts. The government must ensure that funds are channeled to those who genuinely need them, and not to those who are merely seeking ways to increase their income. Local communities know well which families are in genuine need, and for this reason they should, in some way, take part in monitoring those entitled to the funds. We can learn a lot from international experience on this issue.

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