OPINION

A PASOK policy of anxiety?

Most political commentators are attributing the current stance of opposition PASOK chief George Papandreou to his anxiety over failing to dent ruling New Democracy’s lead over his party these past few weeks, a difference that has been steadily borne out by opinion polls. There are two strands to the opposition leader’s stance. First, he has abandoned all his declared positions – on both current and longstanding issues – and has thus provoked conflict and friction within his own party; secondly, he has staunchly rejected all government decisions and initiatives but failed to propose anything in their place, other than generalities and confusion. Using these «tactics,» Papandreou has essentially revoked his stated positions ahead of a constitutional revision – either because they had garnered little support from his party’s cadres or because they were deemed too close to ruling ND’s stance. The opposition leader used the same criteria to revise his position regarding the upheaval in the education sector. Worst of all, Papandreou tried to transform our country’s right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles into an internal party dispute; and he did this primarily to appease the «patriotic PASOK» which had been incensed by his initial welcoming of a proposal by former president Costis Stephanopoulos to take Greece’s Aegean dispute with Turkey to the World Court. Clearly, anxiety and fear are poor counsel when shaping political strategy.