A need for national dialogue

Before last year’s general elections, the conservative New Democracy party had highlighted the need for reforms – changes it had pledged to push through when it came into office – but in a vague and abstract way, as all parties are wont to do during their election campaigns. The truth is that this insistence on the need for reforms – as a way of boosting the country’s ailing economy and bringing it into line with other European Union states and «developed» countries – has gone on for so long that it has become something of a slogan, with the general public accepting it as the only viable way forward. Indeed, the public’s fear of change has ebbed considerably in recent times, as can be seen in opinion polls that track such sentiments. However, one cannot deny that all political parties are extremely careful to avoid specifying any details of pledged reforms (and of promised benefits) ahead of elections, fearing the possible political costs of such a move. A national dialogue over badly needed reforms, involving all political parties and professional associations, has yet to be conducted in Greece. There are no simple solutions for achieving a well-functioning and developing society; but this cannot be done without flexibility, negotiation and consensus between all sides. There are no guilty or innocent parties in such cases.