Code of conduct

The picture of the outgoing prime minister handing over to his successor was encouraging for all citizens, no matter who they voted for on Sunday.

It was a picture that signaled a return to normalcy for Greece’s public life. It symbolized the end of a period that, in its worst moments, was reminiscent of a bloodless civil war. It symbolized the institutional continuity of a mature democracy. A prerequisite for this democratic maturity is adherence not just to formal rules but, equally important, to an unwritten rule of conduct.

It is comforting that for the first time after a long period, the country’s political powers showed, even momentarily, that they are bound by this rule.