OPINION

Starting from scratch

The day after the elections was not the first day of change on the political stage. The real new beginning will take place the day after the Olympic Games, though it will already be too late. Greece has wasted many years on the road toward European convergence. Practically, the best way to measure the extent to which our country has been modernized is by traveling. On returning from the West, for example, we can see the lack of progress and organization in our country. But on returning to Greece from «the East,» we can see how we have moved forward. Indeed, 30 or 40 years ago, the difference between Greece and Eastern countries was much greater than it is now but it was also much closer to Western countries than it is now. The same applies when we compare Greece to certain Central European countries, which only escaped the grip of «real» socialism a decade ago. Private wealth creates illusions. Our country’s real shortfall can chiefly be seen in the State’s administrative functions, in its organization, and in general social attitudes; this includes the way we work, debate, negotiate, plan, and do politics. It is this that has convinced many of the need to start again from scratch. And paradoxically, it is in politics that the first step has been taken. The distinction between Left and Right needs to be redefined in the light of New Democracy’s election victory. And PASOK realizes this but has not dared to admit it.