OPINION

An outdated tradition

Faced with pressure from New Democracy’s grassroots base to appoint officials from the governing party to top posts, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has only one choice: to decisively discourage those who want to maintain a worn «tradition» in which the governing party controls the State. Karamanlis is obliged to take this stance, not because he is subject to criticism by opposition PASOK (which, incidentally, was itself guilty of blurring the line between State and party during its long term in government) but because by simply breaking this tradition, the PM will be in a better position to consolidate his party’s influence on the middle ground, boost the country’s labor force, and reform public administration. ND’s partisan cadres, its hardcore trade unionists and other representatives of the party’s grassroots who are urging the government to seriously consider «their boys» for top jobs in the public sector do not realize that such tactics would make a mockery of the ruling party, would wipe out all of Karamanlis’s political rhetoric and would sorely disappoint millions of citizens who voted for political change on March 7… Indeed, ND’s victory in the general elections is partly attributable to the fact that many Greeks no longer want a State controlled by the government and want to bury a tradition developed by partisan PASOK cadres…