Concerns mount in countdown to polls

It is comprehensible to all that any long-drawn-out pre-election period – in this case, stretching to 16 months – is going to have a detrimental effect on the national economy. Despite the original assertion by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, according to which general elections would take place at the end of his conservative administration’s four-year term – namely in 2008 – the entire political system, the whole Cabinet and the state machinery have all slackened their pace faced with the certainty of early elections next year. And there is only one way for this creeping conviction to be scotched – for the prime minister to push through the implementation of promised reforms at the fastest possible rate. Every new postponement of key structural changes merely fuels disbelief – both within and outside the government – that the current administration will complete its four-year term as it had originally pledged to do. The main problem is that, in view of the current social and economic circumstances, the forecast of early elections is becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. That is to say, the government is paralyzed, problems are accumulating and elections have become an unavoidable deadline on the horizon.

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