Debunking the myth

There are just a few more days left until the much-awaited general elections. And despite the external displays of optimism that members of George Papandreou’s executive committee have been attempting to convey with their official statements and «leaks,» the impression one gets is that they are counting off these last few days with the same anxiety as any army conscript about to be discharged. You can already discern among their ranks a certain gloom as well as an incredible lack of organization – with decisions being made and then quickly being substituted by different ones, with ostensibly fundamental strategies and tactics being abandoned and with the party leader dropping his acquiescent and gentle manner right at the last moment and cultivating fanaticism and polarization – obvious signs of panic and desperation that seem somewhat excessive just a few days before voters go to the ballots. The initial optimism around a possible change in climate for PASOK – which reigned immediately after the announcement that Papandreou would be succeeding Costas Simitis as party leader – did not last for very long. This was hardly surprising, as the substance beneath the «packaging» was flimsy and something that was bound to backfire in the end. And unfortunately for the «new PASOK,» the length of time between this PR explosion and the elections was depressingly long – and more than adequate to debunk the myth of the party’s identity.

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