‘Black book’ tactics backfire on PASOK

It is difficult to gauge what sort of impact on the public was provoked by the publication by PASOK of a «black book» of government blunders and letdowns on the second anniversary of New Democracy’s assumption of power which aimed to expose the government’s «unreliability» in fulfilling its pre-election pledges. The opposition had published something similar around this time last year but at that time PASOK’s own reliability was extremely questionable, certainly according to opinion polls. And even if recent polls show that PASOK has made progress in this area, this is mostly due to the mistakes, decisions and priorities of the government rather than PASOK’s own alternative proposals for solutions to our social and economic problems. In any case, these tactics – of whitewashing on the government’s part and of disparaging by the opposition – are established approaches that do not pull the wool over the eyes of a public which is only too aware of the complexities of the country’s problems. In polls conducted on the government’s second anniversary, about 20 percent expressed dissatisfaction with economic developments while the same proportion said they supported ongoing reforms and, indeed, would like to see them accelerated. Although ND and PASOK are virtually head-to-head in voter intentions, 40 percent of citizens say the current government is best positioned to solve the country’s problems; 34 percent opt for PASOK and 25 percent reject both political parties. The government still has a firm grasp on public support and opposition efforts to discredit it are falling on deaf ears.