OPINION

Collective responsibility

It is common knowledge that failure to reform the social security system will lead the country into a major crisis. Analysts disagree on just when that will happen (some say 10 years from now, others 15), but everyone agrees that time is running out. The Socialist opposition never tires of hammering home the seriousness of the problem. PASOK officials describe the coming nightmare in the most dramatic terms. They indulge in lurid language, such as «the pension system time bomb» and «social cohesion torpedoed,» which, though reflecting the truth, is of little use when unaccompanied by constructive proposals. Politics is not just about enumerating problems; it is about solving them. The parliamentary debate starting May 11 at the government’s initiative will force all political parties to face up to their responsibilities. Evasion, in the sense of simply describing the problems, is no longer an option. The next four years must see decisions and measures that are the result of wide-ranging dialogue. This dialogue should not be hijacked by political expediency. It must both shed light on all aspects of a complex issue and forge the necessary social consensus in order to implement whatever solution is found. There is no room for any further delay. It is time to put an end to empty rhetoric and playing hide and seek with the Greek public. It is the duty of all political parties and organized groups in the community to come up with specific proposals, backed up by statistics and future projections. The social insurance issue is not exclusively the problem of the present government. It a collective problem that can only be dealt with in a collective fashion.