OPINION

Greeks for reform, not false promises

All public opinion polls, including the latest by VPRC, show that a high percentage of Greeks (68 percent) might be displeased with the government, but they are even more disgruntled with the main opposition (83 percent). The former might be explained by the fact that every government is forced to take steps that are unpleasant. The latter is explained by the fact that the opposition keeps delving into the past, a past which has already been rejected by the Greek people. PASOK is sinking into the past of bombastic speeches, cheap promises and populism. The conflict between populists and reformists has always been intense within PASOK. However, according to all indications, the populists are winning the battle, as evidenced in the fuss caused by party leader George Papandreou’s plans for costly handouts in Thessaloniki. But handouts are promises that are often not kept in practice. They are often nothing more than hot air. Greeks know how flimsy these promises are. They realize that without growth they cannot expect handouts and that there can be no growth without serious reforms. That is why they expect the government to move ahead much faster on the course it has set, and at the same time they are sending a clear message to the opposition to change course.