OPINION

Having it both ways?

It appears that Costas Simitis is not all that pleased following the announcement of his gallant decision to open up the road for change within his party. Indeed, the prime minister has already clipped George Papandreou’s wings, apparently unwilling to allow his successor to receive all the credit in the event of his party’s electoral victory. It is rumored that Simitis is not at all happy to hear so many positive appraisals within the party of «Giorgaki» as PASOK’s next leader and so much talk about the «new momentum» that has ostensibly been created with the unprecedented promotion of his successor. But if Simitis is genuinely irritated by the new course of developments within PASOK, who is to blame for this? Close aides claim that he has been «obliged» to give up the party leadership ahead of forthcoming elections and to push for Papandreou’s candidacy. Who was he obliged by? And why? How powerful was this unidentified force which compelled him to withdraw? But Simitis cannot have it both ways. He wants to be party leader and not to be. He wants to attribute the blame for failure to others but to claim credit in the event of a victory. He wants to push for the party’s renewal while still holding on to the reins of power. Does he seriously believe this is possible? If Simitis is confused, it is nobody’s fault but his own. It was he, after all, who drafted the «victory plan.»