OPINION

Absent government

So the long-awaited 2004 is finally upon us. Let’s hope we have the spirit and the patience to endure all that this year is to bring us – at least over the first eight months. Two election showdowns and the Olympic Games are to be staged during the most unstable period the world has experienced, as far as security is concerned. If we also consider the economic hardship of the many and the Olympic «projects» which benefit the chosen few, we realize that this is an explosive combination demanding a disciplined society and a dynamic leadership. But at this critical phase the country is suffering under an absence of government, which is the fault of the prime minister himself. However much he tries, with the support of his remaining few loyalists, to convey the impression that government business is being carried out, daily reality continues to undermine his efforts. On the one hand we see the scandalous way our affairs are being administered with impunity by those in power. On the other, speculation about Costas Simitis’s succession as prime minister have transformed the top echelons of the ruling party into a type of Greek Politburo – distanced from society but also the foundation of the ruling party, playing power games. PASOK’s only current anxiety appears to be over the future roles of Simitis and the likeable but politically immature Foreign Minister George Papandreou…