A race against time

Now that we can consider the prime minister’s supposed «restructuring of the political scenery» completed following the announcement of the lackluster government reshuffle, it is almost certain that the country will, until the elections, continue under the same government format that we have had for some years. The pressure of time, in view of the need to prepare for next year’s Olympic Games, as well as the lack of seriousness yet another «restructuring» would have displayed, has ensured that the usual protagonists have kept their seats. The only thing that has changed is at party level, where the Executive Bureau is not expected to raise objections to the government’s policies. Yet that in no way ensures similar approval on the part of collective bodies, including unions, which have their own priorities. Nor it is certain that they will move in directions indicated by the new, watered-down Executive Bureau. Given this lack of renewal, and now that whatever novelty there was has worn off, the only prospect for a recovery by Simitis and his government depends on the degree to which they are able to produce results that are both visible and valuable. We all know the problems, beginning with the economy and the need to fight corruption as a key moral concern. It remains to be seen whether the nearly unchanged government is in a position to produce initiatives and carry them out systematically and consistently, free of the lethargy that has characterized it to date. As for Simitis, his happy times as head of the European Union are now over, as are his unrequited ambitions for radical changes. What remains is the challenge of hard work, a challenge the government will have to rise to quickly and while having to complete the Olympic projects. If the government, helped by its «political directorate» as a coordinating body, manages to produce serious work so that the opening of the Olympic projects coincides with a broader positive impression, it just might overcome its current problems. But can it? And if so, why hasn’t it done so before? Certainly Costas Laliotis was not the obstacle.

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