OPINION

Reform to defend…

Prime Minister Costas Simitis is now hurriedly, at the eleventh hour, trying to do whatever he can to extract his party from the unpleasant situation it has been mired in for a long time. After a four-year delay, he is now planning a sort of «government platform» – specifically, a chart designed to achieve «real convergence» with the European Union along with a fresh attempt to «renew» PASOK which, according to Simitis, is not the modern, European-type, Social Democratic outfit which would suit his reformist policies. This is all happening as Simitis’s government obsesses about the eventuality of PASOK falling from power at the next general elections. So, the party’s spin doctors are doing everything they can to improve the party’s image before winter. This is why PASOK is placing its hopes on the public relations campaign being led by General Secretary Michalis Chrysochoidis, who has been entrusted with promoting the party and the government from now on, to the best of his ability. There is nothing remarkable or original about all this. The way things have turned out for PASOK and for Simitis, effective public relations campaigns are the only way his leadership can hope to win forthcoming elections. Since 2000 there has been no real reform, the social cost of entering the eurozone has increased, the country’s productive base has remained stagnant and corruption has thrived. No wonder the PM is now relying on PR tricks…