Missing: A national plan

The governmental crisis that has arisen with regard to the Ministry of Education is neither an isolated affair nor does it concern one individual alone. It was something to be expected and demonstrates not only the structural inefficiencies of the current two-party government but also the difficulties any coalition government that is formed after the elections will have to confront.

The government led by Lucas Papademos had a preagreed mission: to restructure the country?s debt and conclude a new loan agreement, and, incidentally, to keep the country running. That is where its political legitimacy ended. None of those participating in the present government is willing to offer political capital to an administration with an expiry date, even more so now that the capital has been dramatically reduced, to the point of annihilation, by painful cuts and a galloping recession.

The lack of political fuel capable of suppling the government with the necessary vitality is complemented by low competence and the reduced vigor of the political staff. What is missing, first and foremost, is a national plan for curbing the crisis.

The only plan being implemented, to the extent that it is being implemented, is the plan devised by the troika: local devaluation and structural reforms according to a stereotyped recipe of controversial effectiveness.

In the absence of a national plan, each minister interprets, develops and puts forward these stereotyped reforms according to his or her own plan. We had the Ragousis Plan, the Loverdos Plan, the Diamantopoulou Plan, the Katseli Plan, the Reppas Plan, not to mention the Panaretos Plan and so on.

Every personal plan was devised over the course of just a few months in the hope of transforming the country in about the same amount of time.

When it came to the details, however, the plans ignored the real capacity for radical change and above all the seriously eroded landscape of public administration and a society living in conditions of recession and poverty.

This is how the package of reforms came about. Some are vital, while others are indifferent, some are useless, but none is linked to another, they are not part of a uniform plan and are ultimately in danger of not being implemented.

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