OPINION

Refuting the doomsayers

There is nothing more infuriating than the self-satisfied know-it-alls who have been saying that the Greek effort to tackle the debt crisis will not work since the start of the country?s woes, without offering any alternative solutions of their own. And when we say alternative, we mean a proposal that is feasible, practical and tested. It is easy to talk about doing things a different way, borrowing money from other countries or changing a country?s production model without having to present the data to support the theory and without having to deal with the real situation. It is just as easy to say that Europe needs to adopt a different approach, as though we could wake up tomorrow morning to see every country in the bloc governed by socialists.

I can only assume that their egos are pumped no end as they see Southern Europe falling into the abyss of the debt crisis and that they feel a sense of justification for all the generalities they spouted in the past. I wonder, though, what would these people do if they were appointed to an important political or administrative post — either today or at some point in the past two years — and had to face the prospect of bankruptcy, the wrath of the markets and the relentless reality of the economic figures?

There is nothing easier than being cocky and spouting pompous prophecies that are eaten up by people who want to feel that they know more than everyone else.

The people who are governing the country, however, are faced with very harsh and very real facts. They know that what looks impressive on paper may lead the country to an uncontrollable disaster. The bombastic analysts would never want to be in their shoes because they are not interested in reality. What they are interested in instead is gaining popularity with their doomsday rhetoric without having to contribute anything constructive to the public discourse. They have convinced a large part of the public that the country cannot be saved. Their followers consist of the champions of inertia and people who have an interest maintaining the status quo in Greece.

The bad thing is that we have no national narrative to counter the doomsayers. It is true that it is difficult to stand up against such thrilling rhetoric by using the words of accountants looking to cover up gaps.

This is the government?s biggest challenge: convincing a skeptical and tortured populace to hang in there and to have faith that there is a way out of the crisis. If it fails to do this, the doomsayers will win and their prophecies may even come true.