The coalition has lost its sense of direction in the last few months. Exactly where things went off track is not the question at this stage.
What is certain is that if it continues competing against SYRIZA in terms of who is more populist or capable of getting rid of the troika sooner rather than later, the game will be lost.
The middle classes are deeply angered following the introduction of single property tax (ENFIA), which became the final straw in overtaxation.
The truth is we have reached an irrational point. People who know they would end up paying much higher taxes under a SYRIZA administration are now openly claiming that they don’t mind, that they just can’t take it any longer.
The government isn’t addressing these people and I don’t mean to scare them, because you can only scare people so much. What I’m saying is that no one is showing them, neither in words or actions, that the government is continuing to push on certain fronts in an effort to modernize the country.
Even tax relief measures seem like the result of political panic, as opposed to a well-prepared plan which has a beginning and an end. Not to mention the fact that following several leaks and announcements, people have already figured out most of the tax relief measures.
The coalition government, and New Democracy in particular, needs a Plan B. The way things are going, the administration will find itself in a process of decay and go down in a blaze of insignificance.
If the government was willing to wage a political war on certain important fronts, to the point of going against or even siding with its coalition partner socialist PASOK, the situation would be entirely different.
The process of evaluations in the public sector, changes in unionist laws and civil servants’ salary changes are the kind of issues which, along with a number of other matters, could help to develop an elementary reform agenda worth fighting for.
Of course it would also take a serious political effort for all of this to be made clear, as it would risk being lost amid the current communication madness.
A Plan B might not be needed after all. Nevertheless, when it comes to politics, when you see danger approaching, you should already be prepared to deal with it. And if necessary, there are two things you can do: Find the courage to tell people the truth and fearlessly put up the kind of fight that will be worthy of the country and its history.