The buck stops here

The first few months of the government’s term were dominated by a sort of Olympic truce in terms of domestic politics. Because the world was watching, we were not supposed to discuss the excessive cost of Olympic-related works and of course, the fate of the Olympic venues once the Games had finished. This climate changed when, in view of its fiscal audit, Costas Karamanlis’s government decided to unveil the extent of the national deficit, to reveal some aspects of mismanagement in the public sector, and to launch parliamentary probes into some of the more resonant scandals in public life. But each bit of evidence of disappointing economic and social performance as compared to other EU states simply served to remind us of old failures. Over the past few months, the government has been heralding reforms. In reality, however, all it has achieved is to tie up some loose ends and push through some reforms which had been way overdue. The time has come to move on to the next stage. We have acknowledged the fact that most – and certainly the most significant – of the country’s problems cannot be effectively tackled in one or two government terms. We have also realized that there is a significant convergence of opinions on many of these issues. And we have recognized that there can be no solution as long as each government passes the buck to its successor or blames its predecessor.