OPINION

Dysfunctional government

A few days ago, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis issued a strict warning to members of his Cabinet after instances of poor cooperation became evident. The prime minister’s aides have made it clear that he will not shrink from reshuffling the Cabinet soon, should he see fit. Karamanlis has given all the members of his government enough time to prove their worth in producing serious government work. But some members of the government are already showing that they are unable or unwilling to fulfill the requirements set by the prime minister. Cases of dysfunctional government continue, either because ministers are inactive or because they do not cooperate sufficiently on specific issues. Furthermore, it is beginning to be clear that certain forces within the camp led by Prime Minister Karamanlis are not only not doing their best to promote the government’s work but are indirectly – and from the wings – making it more difficult by criticizing members of the government and by issuing vague criticism of its decisions. Those political players, acting in this way, offer nothing positive to the government, to their party or their country. Times are difficult for Greece and the one thing that the government does not need now is to be weighed down by instances of political pettiness and personal ambitions. The only forces that can benefit from such behavior and draw hope for their own future are entangled business and political interests (which are hoping for the government’s failure). The prime minister has the power to change the climate that is having a negative effect on the government’s work. This can be done – first – by his playing a stronger role in coordinating the government’s work. Second, he can make changes to the evident weak points in the government. The latter is something that will have to be done sooner than Karamanlis had expected. The general situation in the economy does not allow any further room for delays in solving problems wherever problems in the government’s functioning arise.