OPINION

Groundless criticism of FM Bakoyannis

Political developments often oblige one to resort to humor; how else is one to respond to opposition PASOK’s critique of Dora Bakoyannis’s appointment as foreign minister? One may take as a starting point the concern expressed by veteran PASOK deputy and former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, and subsequently adopted by other party figures, that Bakoyannis will implement the policies of her father, the honorary chairman of New Democracy, with the underlying implication that this policy is driven by a pro-American stance, a tendency to give in and a policy that it is generally inadequate when it comes to protecting our national interests. PASOK’s second gripe is that Bakoyannis’s appointment merely indicates her influence within ND, establishing her as the natural successor to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Of course, opposition criticism can be excessive or groundless if it is intended to cause mischief or instigate upheaval in the rival camp. But for such comments to be effective they must have some link to reality, otherwise they can only draw mockery. Even if we accept that Bakoyannis aims to implement her father’s policies, why should PASOK be worried? What is the difference between Mitsotakis’s policy, as seen by PASOK, and the policy implemented by George Papandreou when he was foreign minister? Only recently the PASOK chief expressed the same stance as Mitsotakis on the Annan plan. Even Turkish newspapers do not link Bakoyannis’s policies with those of her father, who is something of a has-been now, but have welcomed her as «our new George…»