OPINION

Opinion

. ..The ballot for the election of the ruling PASOK party chairman demonstrated that the Socialists include a hardline minority which is opposed to the prime minister. The fact that Defense Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos made reference to a political agreement with Costas Simitis and supported his re-election has not changed things. Despite the fact that, at the last moment, the modernizers added about 500 delegates of their preference, the prime minister improved on his previous score by less than three percentage points, rather than six. The 65 percent received in 1999 was calculated by including non-valid ballots, while the recent 71 percent excluded them. This was another attempt to create impressions. Politically speaking, it is not very important whether the percentage of critics in the party amounts to 29 or 32 percent. What is important, rather, is that this segment, which has in previous years rallied around Tsochadzopoulos, no longer seems to be controlled by him. The defense minister’s mistake is that his tactic during the congress was inconsistent. He originally opted for a moderate opposition against Simitis but he then, eventually, backed away from challenging Simitis’s platform. This switch will entail a heavy, if not unendurable, price for Tsochadzopoulos… The activity suspected to have been organized by Osama bin Laden’s organization is, so far, characterized by great imagination and originality, as well as by a deep awareness of the role that the communication sector plays in the West. If we assume that Al-Qaeda possesses nuclear weapons, it is not certain that it would use them to bring death upon thousands of citizens in New York or any other big city, as such an assault would lead to the ultimate clash.