OPINION

Incorrigibly irrational

The country is tired of the recurring irrational behavior. In the last 35 years, certain small groups have been the perpetrators of violent incidents at demonstrations. This is not about the moral or political aspect of the matter, however, but about pointing out that the only ?safe zones? during protests are those protected by the Communist Party. The country has reached the point where its public safety is being assigned to those fighting the capitalist system. This is the first sign of supreme decadence.

There is a second sign, however. Well-meaning citizens are persistently urging the two main parties — New Democracy and PASOK — to work together to save Greece. Clearly they believe that the powers opposing progress and modernization — unionists and vested interests, among others — will eventually be forced to succumb when leaders at the highest political level reach a point when they are thinking alike.

It was under this pressure that PM George Papandreou recently invited his old friend and now ND leader Antonis Samaras to a meeting, during which it is said he agreed to step down and for the two to jointly appoint a new premier and Cabinet. According to some reports, the outcome was marred when Samaras made some untimely leaks, while others say Papandreou was persuaded by his closest aides and went back on his word. The same scene took place two days ago, which on an aesthetic level at least was more unacceptable than the first one, as it created the impression of two old friends playing around and the reason being that neither wishes to collaborate at this point.

It is particularly doubtful whether a coalition government can save a country which has essentially already defaulted. It is doubtful whether the ?powers of reaction,? as they are dubbed by the ?modernizers,? will be persuaded by a collaboration between Samaras and Papandreou and side with measures that call for a substantial reduction in their incomes. Even more so, a collaboration will not alter the content of the midterm fiscal plan which was shaped without the participation of the PM?s government.

The greatest danger for the country is whether an attempt at violent harmonization will lead to a social uprising, but not in the form of Wednesday?s incidents. Equally worrisome are the escalating problems with Germany, with the latter being perceived as an occupying power which the Greeks in their entirety have to resist, as in the past.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that a ?rescue plan? which could overturn the current state of affairs is being dealt with in an infantile manner.