Giannakou’s next step

The measure of every politician is effectiveness. Politicians are elected to be of help to the country and its citizens and they should stay in office as long as they can fulfill the public mandate. The public mandate to the conservative governments by definition coincides with New Democracy’s promises: radical reforms in all sectors, particularly that of education. But the government’s reform campaign appears to have fallen through because of the poor handling of those assigned the task. The first battle for change in the education sector has been lost. The crisis will deepen if the country loses the chance to overhaul its universities and if arrogant posturing continues to pour oil on flames that should not have broken out in the first place. The performance of Education Minister Marietta Giannakou so far seems to guarantee that the administration’s clash with the students and professors will resume in September after the summer recess – not so much for reasons of substance but for the manner in which the minister tried to push the reform package. It will be a pity if the government eventually fails to promote these basic yet necessary reforms simply because of tension between the two camps. Giannakou should be the first to have thought of this. Her presence at the helm of the Education Ministry will not be for the good of a much-needed overhaul.