Political realism, common ground

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was right to stress the importance of discovering «common ground» with the European Commission, which has contested Greece’s new law on state tenders. Karamanlis’s spokesman highlighted the importance of this quest for common ground but also stressed that the state would do all it could to ensure that the country does not lose European funding as a result of the dispute. Thankfully, such political realism has abounded of late. And I am not referring to the stance of those who stand to gain by speaking of «compromise» and «realism» but to independent voices – including certain members of the Cabinet – who insist that European law overrides national legislation, in contrast to others who never tire of proclaiming the preponderance of national laws over European ones and support Greece’s defense of its state tender law, even should it go to court. But even an inexperienced lawyer would state categorically that reaching a compromise out of court would be the best solution – especially in this case, where the EC can sever the flow of funds to Greece even before a final ruling has been issued… But what is necessary now is that the government present a united front on the matter – there is no point in one minister insisting on pressing Greece’s position all the way to court while another stresses the need for «realism» and the discovery of «common ground»…

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