PASOK’s problems

Supporters of Prime Minister Costas Simitis often claim that the reason behind why his reforms have not progressed should be sought in Greek society, which tends to resist change. That argument would only stand, even initially, had the Simitis leadership rallied its political forces and tested the strength of new government formations against the pockets of social «resistance» referred to by the «reformists.» Since Simitis did not take this initial, absolutely necessary step, the supposed resistance by Greek society is of little importance today. In fact, why should the prime minister not be faced with obstacles in his efforts to reform, which are characterized by spasmodic decisions based solely on small groups of the «faithful» and counting not on his own political forces but on the pro-government media? How can he get Greek society to reform when he has not reformed his own party and when, in order to ensure his own political survival, he makes use of old-fashioned techniques used by his predecessor Andreas Papandreou, while at the same time accusing the «old» PASOK of having an anachronistic mentality. And without any national development plan for Greece for the decade 2000-2010, is it any wonder that the Simitis leadership is resorting to minor repairs within an election campaign atmosphere that appears to be in dire need of communication techniques.