OPINION

Pre-election non-issues

Evaluating the political arguments in the runup to the elections shows an absence of any substantive discussion on past and present events, or on likely future concerns of public life. There is also a glaring absence of debate in the realm of ideas. No plans have been presented regarding Greece’s direction, keeping the economy growing, identifying major and minor weaknesses of the public administration, and anything else that diminishes this country’s capacity and creative potential. There has been no public discussion about the serious problems of development and its total dependence on EU funds, on the pubic deficit, or on the proliferation of consumer and housing loans. What will happen when these factors disappear or their effect on the economy abates? What will be the costs and consequences for employment, incomes and the overall operation of the economy? New policies to meet these needs and create new ways of maintaining the current standard of living have not been evaluated – or even described. Moreover, there are many, especially in the government, who avoid discussing the elements of a more open, competitive economy that do not depend on eternal aid from outside and which will impact on public finance, social insurance and the job market. These issues demand forethought and public discussion. Solutions cannot be presented out of the blue like shock therapy, for that will stoke opposition and limit the strength and potential of the next government. Some still insist on dwelling on the obsolete divide between Left and Right. The more thoughtful among us see this as a pretext, if not a damaging element in itself. Everyone knows that it will not provide answers but only revive old tensions.