OPINION

Opposition for its own sake

Globalization may have benefited the Greek economy with an influx of immigrant labor and cheap foreign products as well as new markets for our own exports, but it has also closed many industries and left hundreds, if not thousands, of people jobless. The textile, shoe-manufacturing and clothing industries in regions such as Macedonia and Epirus, where they were the main employers, are now facing closure. The most severe problem of unemployment is in the prefecture of Imathia, where the jobless rate is almost 50 percent. The government has not yet formulated any overall plan to deal with what is certain to become a nationwide problem and has not debated it in Parliament nor asked for further resources for an unemployment fund. The burden of globalization must be borne by society as a whole, above all by the «haves» who are the first to benefit. The government’s emergency measures – subsidizing Imathia’s jobless until they reach pensionable age, and reconsidering reopening the fertilizer plant in Thessaloniki – will at least avert the tragedy of putting people over 50 out on the street with no hopes of getting another job. Unfortunately, PASOK’s responses have consisted of hysterical outbursts and snide comments. If the government had been indifferent, PASOK would have accused it of class-based insensitivity. Now they have changed their tune and are accusing the government of hypocrisy. They should be ashamed of themselves since it is their governments which bought the once-healthy social security funds to their knees. Is that the way for a supposedly Socialist party to behave? By striking at the government from both left and right, it is missing its sole opportunity to be useful in finding the best possible solution. Instead it indulges in blind criticism.