The wind of populism

If the political debate between the government and the opposition ends up focusing exclusively on who is the most populist of the two, there is no doubt that the battle will eventually be won by the real populists.

Members of the government should not overlook this factor as they seek to strike the right balance in the newly appointed cabinet. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and a few determined ministers have held the country together for the last two years. If the government now starts going back on reforms and making promises of handouts and benefits, then these two years of hard work will have been in vain.

The country has every right to demand and impose changes to the troika’s recipe in areas where it has clearly failed. Lower taxes, rationalizing the tax collection mechanism and supporting the weaker members of society are major national targets.

The government must chart a clear course, however, given that the wind of populism is strong and could easily smash the country against the rocks.