Monitoring power

The opposition has the right but also the obligation to check government activity. The majority rules, the minority monitors. This is described in the Greek Constitution, which outlines the contours and the content of our democracy. According to the Constitution, the opposition has a duty to make criticism of the government’s deeds as it thinks proper, and on these grounds no one can accuse the PASOK Socialists of the party’s harsh opposition to the conservative administration of Costas Karamanlis. To be sure, quality is still lacking from PASOK’s opposition and the Socialists often fall short of touching the heart of the issues they criticize. Furthermore, it is a sign of immaturity that PASOK’s bashing of the government is based on the politically groundless conclusion that the government has yet to start governing. Nevertheless, the ruling officials must refrain from protesting PASOK’s artificially stern opposition and give answers to all questions raised in Parliament. It is not the job of the ruling party to react to opposition criticism on the basis of evaluations of the evident or secret motives of its political enemy. If New Democracy wants to ensure that our democracy continues to function smoothly, it must make sure it does not repeat the error committed by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis in his second tenure when, reacting to the caustic statements coming from the opposition, he went on to essentially deny its right to check his policies.

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