OPINION

Consensus is the only way

Greece is teetering on the brink of disaster, but it can and must be saved.

For his part, Prime Minister George Papandreou should have no illusions about what awaits him if he does not find the courage to enforce the changes needed. Within the next few days, he will have to announce a massive program of spending cuts, privatizations and reforms that will be based on specific assurances. There is no doubt that the old guard in PASOK and labor unions will fight its tooth and nail, but remains to be seen is whether Papandreou will be able to transcend his own contradictions and the problems within his own party.

But, it is crucial that he does and that these steps are taken.

Meanwhile, it is also crucial for the country?s credibility and for its negotiating power on the international arena that New Democracy backs the government in at least the main chunk of the program.