OPINION

Ignoring criticism?

Costas Simitis’s ostensibly reformist government is hardly breaking new ground with its opinion of how the mass media should behave opposite the political leadership. It is a well-known fact that, for politicians, the mass media is accurate and reliable only when it does not oppose them but takes their side. However, because this practically never happens, political leaders are judged according to the way they react to mass media organizations who do not indiscriminately praise their policies and do not fawn over the «rising stars» in government. And it is through their behavior toward their press critics that one can gauge the perception of these politicians as to what the work of government should entail. It is therefore interesting to observe the reactions of certain so-called «reformists,» posing as modern politicians, to the harsh criticism they have been receiving in connection with certain policies of Simitis’s government. What is most remarkable about the government’s stance these days is its attempts to downplay the country’s huge political and economic problems, to make them appear more or less normal. Nobody expects a government to criticize its own initiatives in public; but one should expect it be fundamentally serious and to acknowledge the significance of the problems it faces without beating about the bush.