OPINION

The duty of Samaras

The various and often contradictory reports that have appeared in the German press over the last few weeks, as well as similar statements voiced by German officials, are mostly aimed at the domestic audience.

Their influence however has spread to Greece and across the rest of the continent. In reproducing the contradictions, misgivings and dilemmas of German policy, these comments effectively influence the mood in the debt-plagued countries on Europe?s periphery — most crucially, the mood in Greece, the weakest link in the troubled euro area chain.

The Greek government has for a long time been cut off from Europe?s decision-making centers. This distance makes the debt-hit nation vulnerable to the surrounding atmosphere.

The domestic efforts of the three-member power-sharing administration — which appears to be spending most of its time and energy on finalizing the infamous 11.5-billion-euro austerity package — are dominated by fear, pressure, defeatism and confusion.

Greek officials have not officially raised the threat of systemic collapse and social turmoil with their European Union partners.

Hopefully, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will raise these concerns during his contacts next week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also prime minister of Luxembourg.

Fear is paralyzing, while time is unstoppable. In the three years since the crisis began, a terrified Greece has wasted too much precious time. Successive leaderships have failed to complete the task of hammering out a national rescue plan. To both officials abroad and the people at home, they have been inconsistent in their words and their actions.

Enough is enough. The miserable state of the economy and of society leave no room for further foot-dragging and fear. The prime minister has to stand up in front of his European peers and say that Greece cannot tolerate any more unemployment and recession.

Greece is already leading Europe?s tables. Samaras must ask for an immediate revision of the remedy. He has to speak out with sincerity and courage on behalf of Greece?s suffering citizens, so that he can return and address his own people.