OPINION

No mean task

Leading a large ruling party, especially during the tough period before an electoral showdown with a strong opponent, is certainly no mean task. It is, therefore, no surprise that PASOK General-Secretary Michalis Chrysochoidis, upon succeeding Costas Laliotis, has not managed to achieve for his party the «comeback» that Prime Minister Costas Simitis dreamed of last summer. After all, the new general-secretary – personally selected by the prime minister – had neither the in-party influence nor the aptitude for the position he was awarded. Furthermore, he has been required to organize the party’s recovery in a particularly negative climate. So, if the prime minister reckons that things aren’t going particularly well for him, his government and his party, he should not hold the party’s general-secretary and its executive committee accountable as they attempt to restructure the party and mobilize deputies across the country as part of their pre-election campaign. After all, it was Simitis who chose the individuals currently heading the «new» PASOK. And if these individuals do not have the back-up they need to carry out the difficult task they have been assigned, this too is Simitis’s problem. Even if Chrysochoidis was a talented politician, he would have difficulties resurrecting the tired PASOK currently being preserved by Simitis’s team of «reformists.» And PASOK should certainly not expect any solution from campaign chief Theodoros Pangalos, however impressive his war paint might appear…