OPINION

Facing the inevitable on selloff

As time goes by, it is becoming increasingly clear how wrong the prime minister was in his handling of the issue of privatizing state assets.

His overreaction to the issue made a very bad impression abroad and also strengthened the populist voices within his own party. Meanwhile, it is clear that Berlin and the country?s other creditors will not agree to any renegotiation of the debt repayment without guarantees that state assets will be either developed and/or sold.

George Papandreou, therefore, needs to explain to the Greek people that this is the only way to reduce the public debt while avoiding further cuts is salaries and pensions and securing the support of our creditors. He will also need to overcome the negative knee-jerk reactions to any proposal from officials and unionists in PASOK. If he doesn?t manage to temper the sentiment that exists over the issue he will find himself in a very awkward position with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, because public relations stunts and petty politics are sometimes all its takes to undermine crucial negotiations.