The new year has all the elements of a peculiar farce which has been designed with excessive pomposity by its creators. Clumsy and smug, they are doing little more than offering a pitiful spectacle as they undermine the very system which they seek to defend. Prime Minister Costas Simitis appears to be carefully planning his escape route from electoral defeat. Never before have members of a political party appeared to have such a low opinion of their leader that they regard him as incapable of facing elections. The allusive, timid Foreign Minister George Papandreou not only failed to broach the matter of Simitis’s potential succession with boldness but, following a few days of gossip about «clear» solutions, he is now allegedly plumping for the solution of a dual leadership, with Simitis remaining prime minister and him becoming party leader. The strange thing is that in just a few days Papandreou was transformed from the politician who was to rejuvenate PASOK and free it from corruption into the chief prop for Simitis and his policies. Before he even had a chance to cast himself as regenerator, he found himself swept along by Simitis’s reformists, among whom his future career lies. The PASOK which initially impressed us with its dynamism is now a shadow of its former self as its cadres try to mimic old strategies, causing anguish among their supporters and prompting the mockery of their rivals.