OPINION

Our very own memorandum

We are living the annihilation of what our political system has — with the help of our votes — transformed into over the last 30 years. Today?s Greece has to change because it was built on rotten foundations. Don?t believe anyone who insists that ?we were doing just fine,? because we all know very well that it?s a lie. The country could have changed and progressed in a smoother fashion. If the old-style PASOK hadn?t always alternated with the populist-unionist wing of New Democracy, perpetually accompanied by the left in the war against any kind of reform, we would not be in this position today.

Right now the entire political system is in a state of confusion and in the process of decomposition. The good news is that as I write these words, it is clear that a significant portion of PASOK and, above all, of New Democracy, have taken a stance which befits responsible middle-class parties. It is necessity which made their disengagement from state-supported unionists obligatory, from those in favor of a non-Western Greece and champions of paranoid extremism.

This is the way it should be in a European country, while you may add to the above equation Fotis Kouvelis, Dora Bakoyannis, Makis Voridis and possibly more.

As a vehicle, PASOK might and perhaps should come under Article 99 of the Bankruptcy Code, from an economic and political point of view, if it is unable to truly change. In any case, if it is unable to do so it is bound to shrink while its place will be taken at some point by a new political force which will express the dynamic center strata of the desperate middle class. PASOK was born and raised as a state-supported formation, but now the state is on a forced diet.

Meanwhile, based on the target of spurring a Greek rebirth, it is imperative that serious middle-class forces get their act together. It is not enough to beat the threat of bankruptcy or to clinch the bailout package at next Wednesday?s Eurogroup meeting, because sooner or later we will find ourselves in exactly the same mess, if not worse.

I ask Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos to sit down around the table and sign our own Greek memorandum to save our country. You did it with the university reforms. Do it in every crucial sector: Reduce the number of deputies, establish broadly accepted permanent deputy ministers in a few pivotal departments, use a common policy to put an end to the obstacles of doing business, appoint recognized professionals in certain crucial fields, such as the restructuring of tax-collecting mechanisms. But do work together, don?t repeat the same mistakes that brought us to this point in the first place, and don?t take to the streets fighting for vested interests. There is no other way. If you don?t do it now, if you don?t start working together as a national rescue team even before the next general elections, you will be swept by the same crisis.

No one wishes to steal the privilege of one of you being appointed prime minister. After all, only an insane person or a daredevil would actually want to accept a pivotal position in a country like ours. So get together, persuade those abroad that you are serious and that you mean what you say; inspire us. If you don?t, the middle class will come crumbling down like a paper castle and you will be consigned to nothing more than a footnote in history.

Close your ears for a little while and forget the opinion polls for a couple of months. Who knows, perhaps a sincere national effort might stir our emotions and make us ignore the TV ratings and circulation battles for a while, and allow a ray of light into this God-blessed, but mortally cursed land.