Inside scenarios

It’s perfectly normal that Prime Minister Costas Simitis has publicly ruled out recent corridor gossip and press reports that he intends to step down from the Socialist party leadership. It would not make sense if Simitis were determined to keep his post and, at the same time, raise the issue of handing over the PASOK leadership over to another Socialist figure. The premier may be refuting hypothetical scenarios about his potential resignation in order to dispel the fog currently shrouding the political scene, where rumors circulating about a change of PASOK’s leadership have originated exclusively from governmental and Socialist party officials. Apart for the fact that one can have no «midsummer night’s dream» in the middle of a cold winter, Simitis is wrong when he says that these are the «dreams» of those «who seek to impede the work of the government.» Everyone in politics knows, first, that the rumors about a political changeover inside PASOK do not come from the New Democracy opposition, and, second, that ND would not like to go to the polls against a rejuvenated PASOK under a freshly-elected leader. As a result, these «dreams» can only come from inside a worn-out and demoralized party like PASOK. Now for what reason would PASOK’s dreamers, who wish to rid the Socialist party of Simitis, want to impede government policy? Since it is PASOK’s own policy to date that has caused the biggest damage to the party, the dreamers would most probably like to see an end to PASOK and replace it with a better alternative. If the prime minister believes that things have really come to this, there’s no one else to blame but himself. No minister, deputy or Socialist cadre would raise the issue of Simitis’s premature replacement had the premier hammered out a truly productive government policy.