Stuck in panic mode

The government seems to have descended into a state of panic. This became evident last month when Prime Minister George Papandreou backed down on the issue of selling off 50 billion euros? worth of state-owned assets, a move that gave the green light to populist forces both within and outside his PASOK party to let loose with their unproductive rhetoric.

Now, the government is backing down to the union representing Public Power Corporation workers, to protests over changes to construction limits in Natura-protected areas and to illegal immigrants.

What Papandreou has possibly failed to understand is that this weak stance will not earn him any points in the next round of public opinion polls. In contrast, this kind of stance establishes the image of a government that is crumbling under pressure, of a government in a state of panic that is ready to retreat in the face of any challenge.

If the prime minister continues down this path of retreat, it will become impossible to implement the painful measures and bold decisions necessary to pull Greece out of its current crisis.

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