Out of touch?

While we have been awaiting the implementation of the highly publicized prime-ministerial initiatives, there has been much debate about changing faces in the government: who will be sent to which ministry; which Cabinet ministers will be «reshuffled»; and which of Costas Simitis’s deputies or extra-parliamentary cronies will join the new Cabinet. Of course, these are significant matters. But such changes, when they were made by PASOK’s founder Andreas Papandreou, served to win time for the then premier. Whereas now, a few months before the next general elections, they rather appear to be a waste of time. The main concern of the average Greek citizen is not which individuals will exercise government policy, but which policies they will be called upon to serve and how these will respond to everyday problems. And when we say the average Greek citizen, we do not mean the person who is obsessed about whether Theodoros Pangalos was a victim of party intrigue and so can no longer be elected to PASOK’s Executive Bureau. The main concern of the citizen attempting to secure a decent living for himself and his family is to determine to what extent the prime minister is in touch with the reality of life in Greece – a reality which is experienced daily by millions of Greeks, not just one described in European «reports.» Such citizens want to know whether their premier has the will and ability to improve their lot.

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