A ‘new start,’ all over again

Changes at the top echelons of the ruling Socialist party, a government shake-up, and ministerial pronouncements having a pre-election flavor are scarcely any remedy for the current political crisis. The plethora of unresolved issues that have fallen on the shoulders of a weary political leadership cannot be effectively tackled using measures that aim primarily to give the impression of an efficient government mechanism. Problems such as those Greece is experiencing today cannot be dealt with seriously by a leadership that lacks a thorough plan for national development in the EMU era, as well as the necessary time for carrying it out. The prime minister lacks both these elements. Even if PASOK had a better political staff than the one which is currently managing government affairs, it would still fail to bring about any improvement with no new political plan to work on and within a reasonable time frame. Since the prime minister decided to convey the impression of a «new beginning,» the absence of the above factors is forcing him to take initiatives without substantial political content. Given that Simitis sees no other solution to the political crisis besetting the country, he can do nothing but carry out a noisy public relations exercise aimed at improving PASOK’s performance in opinion polls. PASOK is in poor shape. Under so much pressure from so many economic, administrative and social problems, the crisis was inevitable for PASOK – a big party which for years has been in charge of a country that entered the eurozone without the necessary equipment to meet the many challenges involved. As this is the true nature of the problem, Simitis’s latest initiatives are bound to fall through.

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