We have learned a lot over the past two years about how Greek politicians think and operate. We now know, for example, that it is much easier for them to impose across-the-board salary and pension cuts than to take on strong unions and powerful groups representing vested interests, even when the privileges these enjoy are so clearly damaging to society.
Greece had to come to within a hair?s breadth of a disorderly default for its two biggest political parties to finally assume the responsibility of curbing the scope of powerful lobbies. However, we can?t forget the fact that there is no way either PASOK or New Democracy would have risked losing the political capital that will be lost in this fray if it were not for their decision to work together and to stay on the same page, at least for the time being.
The path of cooperation is the only way to cure some of the many ills that have built up in Greece over the decades. Hopefully, the two political parties will not think of the political cost in the short term and will have the stamina and the tenacity to proceed, together, with the reforms necessary to heal the country.