OPINION

Now for politics…

The PR barrage that was launched in the first few days after Costas Simitis’s decision to hand over PASOK’s leadership to George Papandreou (a move which cast both the leader-in-waiting and the ruling party in a positive light) was bound to die away eventually, just as it was bound to happen in the first place. A worn-out ruling party, alarmingly inefficient as regards most of the issues of concern to the public, giving off an unmistakable whiff of corruption, and which has become alienated even from its grass roots, would be expected to make use of a pre-election initiative «to take a breather.» If nothing else, it would boost the morale of the party’s cadres and followers and give them the opportunity to stop complaining about an unsatisfactory yesterday and to talk more generally, and dreamily, about the dawning tomorrow. Public relations and political strategy experts predicted very early on, virtually from the first few days of Papandreou’s promotion, that this public relations surge would inevitably settle because, though impressions may count in political circles, they cannot be kept up in the real world for very long. Especially during a pre-election period, facade, style or vague visions being promoted will eventually necessarily give way to a genuine political standoff, to a comparison of proposals and programs, to a weighing-up of the various solutions proposed, however much these may come decked in a pre-electoral mantle.