OPINION

The potential of two years in power

Two years is not such a short time for a government in power. In two years, former New Democracy leader Constantine Karamanlis established the foundations for a radical transformation of our country; in the post-1974 period, he replaced a tin pot state with a robust democracy. In two years, PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou shook up Greek society. And in the same period of time, former ND chief Constantine Mitsotakis attempted sweeping economic and social reforms with a majority of just one constituency. In two years, Andreas Papandreou staged a stunning recovery, refuting all predictions. In less than two years, former PASOK leader Costas Simitis ensured his «reform» drive was under way. What has Costas Karamanlis’s administration achieved after two years? Very little, if we consider what we were promised. Quite a lot, if we consider what it inherited from Simitis. After all, Karamanlis’s government came to power when the country’s deficit had spiralled out of all control, and it is still trying – admittedly with some success – to bring our deficit down. Karamanlis inherited a disorganized state, with an ailing public administration that has been virtually worn down by indifference. During its 20-year reign, PASOK did not manage to bring about fundamental structural changes to the state. It simply replaced the «state of the right» – which it was faced with in 1981 – with the «state of PASOK,» which Mitsotakis did not really change between 1990 and 1993. The result of all this is a unique and completely contradictory phenomenon – an ND government within a PASOK state.