George Papandreou?s humiliating visit to Cannes on the sidelines of the G-20 leaders meeting was perhaps a cold shower for those of us who refused to see where this country really stands: Greece is close to being kicked out of the euro area and undergoing a disorderly default.
No one — be they workers, journalists, unionists, entrepreneurs or civil servants — can afford to foster delusions about the situation. Papandreou?s decision to put the Brussels debt deal to a referendum was nothing but a salto mortale on the global stage — but, at the end of the day, it did do some good.
Everyone is anxious about whether Greece can survive the turmoil. It will not be easy. Common sense dictates the formation of a transition government which will, over the next few months, make sure that we don?t go bankrupt, that we don?t leave the eurozone, and that we don?t slide into civil strife.
The above practically means that the country?s responsible moderate parties, and hence the vast majority of the Greek population, will throw their weight behind a caretaker government that will take care of fiscal and national security issues. Those outside Greece, or at least most of them, have by now realized that Greek society simply cannot take any more pressure — and they will hopefully assist the debt-choked country with development programs and some adjustments to the economic policy mix.
After the interim government has done its duty, only a blatant partisan will care about the color of the party in power. Could Samaras prove to be a worthy governor with cadres and policies that match the legacy of the late Constantine Karamanlis? He would have everyone?s backing. Will the people decide they want a coalition made up of the responsible moderate parties? I hope this will work.
Everyone wants to witness an end to this damned uncertainty and finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Hopefully things will take a turn for the better, without any meaningless revanchism. For the time being, we need unity and responsibility from our political leaders. Should uncertainty return on Monday, nothing will save the political system and the country from rage and chaos.