PASOK’s myth debunked

Will the vast budget deficit allow the conservative administration to fulfill the pledges it made last year, that is to adopt a policy of mild economic adjustment and not enact any austerity measures? It’s very unlikely. Will the government manage to achieve a high growth rate, reduce unemployment, bolster productivity, modernize public administration, streamline the education system, settle crucial outstanding problems (including the farmers’ protests, the social security issue and labor reform), and dismantle vested interests? Again, doubtful. To be sure, people judge a government on the basis of its everyday performance. But on the other hand, they grasp the size and the roots of the problems which make them incredibly hard to tackle. Notably, several Socialist opposition cadres, who have served long periods in key government sectors, not only shrug off any responsibility for creating these problems but go as far as to reproach their successors. The same politicians urge the government to take quick and drastic measures and then smile gleefully as they see it having trouble finding instant remedy. The big demands made by PASOK cadres (the main bulk being members of the once-mighty reformist bloc) essentially amount to a public acknowledgment of the mass of big problems they left behind after their eight-year tenure. Their own words confirm that reformist talk about a «strong Greece» was a big political hoax. It is childish to claim that, after the March 2004 elections, a few months were enough to bring about the rapid destruction of a strong Greece, «with a strong economy, a strong society and a reinforced international image.»