OPINION

Back to reality…

The new month brings with it fresh challenges for both the government and the opposition. The government must try to make its budget for 2005 acceptable to citizens and European Union officials, satisfying – to as great a degree as possible – the people’s calls for better incomes and benefits as well as the EU’s demands for the implementation of immediate and drastic measures to reduce public deficit and debt. Meanwhile, the main opposition PASOK party must defend itself over its political activities while in government, not only on the level of the «powerful economy» it ostensibly left behind but also in matters relating to transparency and the principled management of public finances – chiefly in the sensitive area of defense procurements which is currently subject to investigation… Following the Olympic period during which everyone’s interest was fixed on the «national gamble» of the Games, we are now faced with a return to the reality of political life and exchanges, with the first challenge being the approval of the draft budget, followed by the – politically, even more critical – presidential elections scheduled for May 2005. Both parties have stated that these elections should not be an excuse for early elections but in order for this to be the case a climate of consent must prevail…