Political issues

The emergencies that befell Greece in recent weeks – the Chinook tragedy, the furor over irregular transfers of students, the traffic accident on the Maliakos Gulf road – pushed real political issues into the background. But now, at the government’s initiative and following prosecutors’ reports into arms procurements, politics are back at the center. There are three main issues that will set the scene for the political confrontation. First and foremost will be the discussion over the new budget, in combination with the revelation of the deficits from the Simitis government’s era. The government has chosen the hard road. It will try to tidy up the State’s finances and create conditions of stability in order to attract investment, while not taking austerity measures until it has exhausted all other possibilities… A second front is the cauterization, through parliamentary procedures, of mismanagement, waste of public finances and politicians’ corruption, as these appear in prosecutors’ reports into the murky world of defense procurements. Former ministers and officials from the Simitis government will be called on to explain the choices which apparently damaged state interests. The message is clear: The State is not prepared to keep accepting unaccountable management. A third issue concerns a law governing the ownership of mass media. Here the government is determined to send a clear message to television station owners… They will not be allowed to distort events on the basis of their business interests or political aims.