OPINION

Doing away with populism

Prime Minister George Papandreou must soon clarify the main principles and objectives that his government is going to follow on the question of privatizations — one of the vital steps toward streamlining the country?s debt-ridden economy.

At the moment there is confusion about the administration?s intentions, and this is the responsibility of Papandreou and his ministers.

It is Papandreou that created confusion with his public relations fireworks, as it were, like when he suggested that the government will introduce a ban prohibiting the sale of state-owned land.

His Socialist ministers have similarly added to the confusion by insisting that the state must maintain control over the heavily indebted and dysfunctional public utilities.

If the PASOK government has any chance of accomplishing the ambitious goals it has set out, it will have to do away with populist sound-bites and vague statements and rather adopt some clear and simple rules.