OPINION

An unresolved matter

It is true that two of Costas Simitis’s closest aides had advised him to make it entirely clear, during his press conference last week, that he would lead PASOK in forthcoming elections. But by referring simply to his «participation» in the countdown to the electoral showdown, Simitis triggered the current debate about his potential succession as party leader. And despite the subsequent «corrections» to his speech by government officials, the matter remains far from resolved. Why did Simitis not follow the advice of his trusted associates whose opinions are generally held in high regard? Did he make his comments by mistake? Or had he made a conscious decision to speak about his «participation» in his party’s struggle to prepare for the next elections? Even his most faithful «reformists» cannot provide a single answer to this question. However, it is interesting to consider the conviction of «reliable sources» who maintain that Simitis stands a good chance of acquiring a very good (although not top) post within the European Union if some opposition displayed by the Christian Democrats of one of the EU’s strongest nations can be overcome. The prime minister is anxiously awaiting the final outcome of this minor (although for him major) saga, the sources say. And apparently «third parties» are already engaged in strenuous efforts to influence the outlook of Simitis’s European critics. So, perhaps there was a good reason for Simitis remaining ambiguous about the future of his role as party leader.