OPINION

Priorities

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is not planning to go the way of his predecessor Costas Simitis, judging from his choice of ministers and the structure of his new Cabinet. According to first indications, the previous approach in which everything was filtered through a balance sheet will no longer prevail. While the economy will always be a priority, those who expected that the new government’s first 100 days would be used to give new impetus to specific structural issues concerning the economy will have to wait. Reforms will come later, and not only because of the Olympic Games, although the previous government has left so much undone in that regard that the country is at risk of embarrassment, so naturally the new government will be focusing much of its attention on getting ready for August. However, the new prime minister appears to have two main priorities. One is the honorable exercise of government, without ostentation, hence his warning to ministers to avoid a flamboyant social life. The second is to provide a better civil service. The people were not convinced by the «prosperity» figures presented by PASOK and want the government to care more about their own problems. The next few months will show whether these priorities, along with an emphasis on culture and education and a resolution in Cyprus, are the right ones.