Political jugglery

Politics is not a one-sided game. It needs at least two players, and as a result the success or failure of the moves made by one depend on the reactions of the other. The anticipated decision of Prime Minister Costas Simitis to hand over the leadership of PASOK to Foreign Minister George Papandreou clearly involves more drawbacks than advantages. So the question is, to what extent will New Democracy and the other opposition parties manage to highlight and exploit the disadvantages of Simitis’s expected move in view of forthcoming elections, and will PASOK succeed in presenting Papandreou as the deus ex machina who will further extend the Socialists’ long period in power? With Simitis’s intentions and plans only partially clarified, the Greek public has until now been exclusively subjected to opinions, assessments and forecasts about the extent to which a change of leadership in PASOK would influence the existing balance of power between the two main political parties, and whether ND’s trend of leading in opinion polls would be reversed. There has been little speculation about the significance of Simitis’s anticipated move. As we know that most media groups have good reason to focus only on the likely consequences of Papandreou becoming party leader, it is evident that examining the reasons behind such a move is a task for opposition parties and chiefly for ND…

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