OPINION

Commentary

It is common knowledge that in Greece funds from the Third Community Support Framework and the projects for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games essentially function like the state’s entrepreneurial interventionism in the post-war period. Figures showing a 3-percent growth rate or more are thus in a sense fictitious as they do not reflect the prosperity arising from Greece’s free economy. However, despite this favorable state of affairs, economic prospects remain bleak and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during the Cabinet session last week, admitted that new problems have emerged in the global economy which require careful consideration in economic planning and great effort. The embarrassment of a government which advertised its administrative edge in the economic sector over its opponents is clear. This is particularly the case when considering the imminent dashing of the expectations of the average Greek citizen, whom Simitis’s reformist group tried, in a demagogic fashion, to convince of the immediate benefits of the introduction of the euro in January 1, 2002 and Greece’s equal participation in the European Union’s hard core. It is thus no paradox that Simitis went on to announce that his new strategy will be to highlight the dividing line separating the ruling socialists from conservative opposition New Democracy, and the rapprochement with the leftist parties in view of the coming local elections. This is a typical practice of the reformist PASOK which occasionally harks back to its militant traditions, hurling its spears at the rightist governments which it holds responsible for, first of all, the civil war, which, in fact, was also fought by parties of the center after the Communist uprising; second, the dictatorship of April 21, 1967, which actually overthrew the conservative government of Panayiotis Kanellopoulos, and, third, the entanglement between the right and the Palace. The abolition of the monarchy, however, did not come about through the initiatives of or machinations by the Communist left or PASOK. All this, however, does not have the slightest significance because party policy is not shaped on the basis of historical facts but on the impressions which are cultivated in an attempt to sway the voters of the time and establish a monopoly over political power. It is doubtful whether the trick will also work this time as the situation has changed. The Communist left collapsed in 1989 under the Berlin Wall and has not managed to recover yet. The modernized left is suffering, along with stock markets round the world, the disillusionment of the golden era of globalization. Unfettered futurism is giving way to a greater emphasis on tradition that seems to be more appealing to citizens. -The European Union is to release the annual progress report on EU candidate countries, including Cyprus and Turkey, in Strasbourg.