George Papandreou would be more convincing if he promised to reorganize the Socialist party on a new basis that would ensure greater efficiency and transparency after he is elected PASOK chairman. However, Costas Simitis’s prospective successor, all smiles and warm handshakes, is trying to persuade the public that all such changes are in the pipeline merely because of his decision – in a personal and secret deal with the outgoing premier – to become leader of the ailing Socialist party. Papandreou is parading throughout Greece advertising a party that can, as if by magic, guarantee a «new morality,» «revival,» «new practices» and, in general, a bright «new era» which he will be the one to seal. Apart from its naive content, promotion of the ostensibly «new PASOK» is fundamentally flawed for one simple reason. Papandreou went on to promise his magical qualities having first snubbed PASOK’s internal procedures and, by extension, his Socialist colleagues. The man who now pledges renewal and a new morality in the party and the political system as a whole was «elected» PASOK chairman behind the walls of a Kolonaki apartment. And yet a Socialist cadre said in all seriousness during a radio interview yesterday that Papandreou was «imposed by the people» as the party’s «future leader.» How convincing can talk of political renewal and new morality be when coming from the lips of a politician who did not appear to take this new morality into actual consideration and who willingly consented, in tandem with his political superior, to mock the party’s institutional procedures? Why would a citizen already dismayed with the policies of PASOK trust a politician who did not hesitate to betray his colleagues, snatch the party leadership and fulfill his aspiration of running for premier?

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