OPINION

Empty promises?

When Costas Simitis was re-elected prime minister in 2000, he promised voters that he would implement very specific policies, chiefly the much-desired «real convergence» with the European Union. And with Greece at the time having already achieved accession to the eurozone, the road was open for developments. Social groups prepared themselves for the imminent structural changes as the age of the euro would not tolerate PASOK’s tendency to procrastinate and implement half-measures. But Simitis, in the three years that have passed since then, hasn’t dared to make any changes whatsoever, limiting himself to a simply formal management of government and just serving a closed circle of businessmen who depend on the State for their livelihoods… And in the economic sector, no efforts were made to boost productivity and competitiveness; the stock exchange became completely unreliable, while Moody’s still refuses to upgrade the country’s credit rating… Despite all this, Simitis has raised the issue of «real convergence» once again, which, we are invited to believe, will be achieved by 2008. In any other European country, a prime minister who had failed to make good on any of the promises he had made three years ago would not dare to speak of (the same) new challenges.