PASOK must keep populism at bay

PASOK’s party conference which opened yesterday is in itself a major political event. Should the main opposition Socialist party succeed in articulating a comprehensive and modern proposal for tackling Greece’s structural problems – and at the same time a proposal that will advance the common good – this will constitute a propitious development not only for PASOK itself but also for the country’s political system. On the other hand, if the conference is dominated by populist cries and promises of handouts, this will lead to further polarization and unleash a round of unrealistic welfare pledges ahead of the next general election. PASOK’s conference participants and above all party leader George Papandreou have a huge responsibility to the country.