OPINION

In search of a leader with reformist vision

Let?s not beat around the bush. If we Greeks don?t start believing in the need for certain major structural reforms, the country will never move forward. Because reforms, like all other major changes, cannot happen only because we fear our creditors and they?re holding a gun to our heads. They need to be embraced by the Greek people, or at least by a large majority, if they have any chance of bringing growth and change to this country.

So, which political party or political group right now has a reformist vision and can sell it to the people so that it is then able to put it into action and execute it?

PASOK is in a state of schizophrenic madness with George Papandreou at its helm, who is rapidly reverting to old-school socialist rhetoric. Instead of explaining why he sold so many people who believed in his reformist fairy-tale down the river, he now lays the blame for his government?s failures on the doorstep of the markets and conservative Europe, without a word about the administrative chaos that surrounded him and his government.

Papandreou?s PASOK never truly believed in the need for reforms and it expended itself instead on catchy gimmicks like open governance at a time when some invisible hand in the Maximos Mansion was staffing, in the good old style, senior positions in hospital management.

New Democracy has failed to convince us that it is a reformist force because it would rather put off every reform that is currently being proposed until some later date.

The parties of the left, meanwhile, naturally insist on fighting every effort at change in very short order.

So, which party, which political force will convince the people of what needs to be done?

Some say Lucas Papademos can do it. Sure, the prime minister can explain the situation, lay out what needs to be done and highlight the risks of inactivity. He would be taken especially seriously because he is not a politician and because no one doubts his in-depth knowledge regarding Greece?s situation.

But Papademos alone cannot convince the whole of society, which has been subjected to populist brainwashing for years.

It would take a proper and profound public debate, in which the forces of reform and the true Europeanists could pitch their battle. Only then would we stand a chance of remaining in the core of Europe.