OPINION

Papandreou and EU

The election of George Papandreou as successor to Costas Simitis has raised doubts in the minds of our European partners regarding the future stance of our country. The current prime minister may have been responsible for no end of political mistakes which resulted in his withdrawal ahead of general elections, but he did succeed in shifting the country toward a more European orientation. And so, despite its shortfalls, Greece is among the countries regarded by EU institutions as having the potential to participate in enhanced cooperation. New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis has conveyed the same message to our European partners. His declared aim is for Greece to attain the EU average as quickly as possible and for the country to participate in the «hard core» of those seeking closer European unification. Of course, neither Simitis nor Karamanlis followed the stance of confrontationalism with the USA – a central pillar of NATO and a basic factor in ensuring stability in the broader Balkan area. But now our European partners want to know about the intentions of PASOK’s leader-to-be. His cooperation up until now with his EU counterparts has been very good, but he had been following Simitis’s directions. What European observers want to know is whether, in the event of a crisis, Papandreou will align himself with the EU’s hardcore states or its Atlanticists…