No magic solutions

The changes being made to the executive structure of PASOK – however impressive they may appear – are unlikely to have a significant influence on Costas Simitis’s government, or to turn around the negative climate for the ruling party. Let us not forget that the average citizen is chiefly concerned about his or her standard of living and so is only really interested in those policies that can improve day-to-day life. And it is by no means certain that Simitis’s newly formed government will be able to achieve any more than his old one did. As confirmed by opinion polls, the difference in popularity between opposition New Democracy and PASOK has stabilized at just above 8 percent, and so the probability of ND leader Costas Karamanlis winning the next elections is greater than ever. This does not necessarily mean that an ND victory would be due to the public’s trust in the party’s policies or its decision makers. On the contrary, research reveals a generally cautious approach by citizens who remain unconvinced about the opposition’s ability to tackle the problems that bedevil them. Basically, ND has yet to convince us with the essential content of its political arguments. For example, it has yet to explain how it is going to manage to offer the tax breaks it has promised. There are no magical solutions. ND needs to explain what specific policies and measures it is able to implement for the good of the average citizen.

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