Fiscal «black holes,» widespread borrowing, party appointments, the granting of «benefits» from state funds that do not exist: If things continue to develop on the basis of the existing state of affairs, then it is virtually certain that the government which will emerge from the next elections will have a real case of «scorched earth» to deal with. For its part, Costas Simitis’s government does not appear particularly troubled by such an eventuality, determined as it is to maintain power for PASOK by hook or by crook. Meanwhile, the opposition New Democracy party – which will quite possibly lead our next government – has been sharply criticizing Simitis’s «charter for real convergence» initiative and the current government’s «hope-mongering» in the countdown to the elections; but ND’s overall stance on this matter, as well as the quality of and depth of its criticism, indicates that it too is not particularly troubled by the dangerous pre-election policy being followed by Simitis’s leadership. And yet, if PASOK continues to share out non-existent revenue, then ND will be faced with an economic and social nightmare if and when it comes to power. And the opposition does not appear willing to do whatever it takes to avert the worst. Its cadres are currently off sunning themselves, but say they will return in September to respond to PASOK’s «chart» with one of its own. Whatever happens, it will be Greece which suffers.