OPINION

Signs of political maturity

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has shown in the short period that he has been in the Maximos Mansion that he governs in a top-down manner, with a clear understanding of the country?s problems and an active style of management. The truth is that Greece has not seen such an approach for some time.

Samaras also appears to have a thorough understanding of the situation Greece is in. He knows that on the one hand he has a society that is being sorely tested and sees little light at the end of the tunnel and, on the other, there is Germany and some members of the European establishment who have reconciled themselves to the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro area. Samaras does not want to see Greece return to the drachma, because he knows that the cost, the poverty and the despair that would ensue would make today?s conditions seem like a walk in the park. He is certainly also concerned with bearing the onus of being the man at the helm when and if Greece were to leave the eurozone.

Despair and seemingly impossible predicaments are the biggest test for a politician and occasionally they spring a pleasant surprise. So far, Samaras appears to have tamed the populist instincts he once displayed. He shows that he is very conscious of the gravity of Greece?s situation and, most importantly, appears determined to stick to the course.

Of course, the prime minister has not yet tested his mettle at a real make-or-break moment, such as that looming in September. So far, it has all been drawing plans and making tactical decisions, but the time for tough decisions and even tougher negotiations and clashes is close and that is when we will see whether Samaras, his government and society are able to weather another storm.

Meanwhile, I wonder where all those tdisplaying fake bravado, who accused the government of betrayal and refused to look at reality, have gone. I assume that they will continue to peddle their populist wares, massage certain egos and pour more oil into the fire that threatens a social explosion. It would be pointless to ask them to show the same level of maturity that the prime minister has, because it is always easier to flaunt your bravado and earn popularity points. Of course it is destructive too, especially when this language is also spouted by opposition parties and certain members of the media.