Time for change?

It is a paradox that the successes of Costas Simitis’s government – or those that happened to occur during his governance, some of which, like Cyprus’s accession to the European Union, were genuinely impressive – have done nothing to change the negative climate for the ruling PASOK party. On the contrary, the discontent is growing, something we are all verifying in our daily exchanges and conversations and not simply from opinion polls. Every citizen seems to have a reason to be disenchanted and no one wants to go on with their lives in this way. I believe that members of the government feel the same way – which is why they appear to be deeply divided and are unable to rally themselves, even around an impressive victory. The image of our political life exudes a sense of whining and grousing, and a complete lack of enthusiasm. Clearly, neither the citizens nor their governors can go on with their lives in this way. Costas Simitis knows very well, both from his experience and from his political credo, that the criticism and monitoring of politics is not part of any conspiracy but a fundamental aspect of the system of government. If he now feels the need to attribute such criticism and monitoring to conspiracies and shady business interests, he is evidently in a far more difficult position than we hitherto thought. Regardless, he should be able to distinguish political criticism from expediency.

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