OPINION

Need for serious opposition

The country has a new government with a specified agenda: In his first parliamentary address, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated his pledge to push ahead with the requisite structural reforms at a faster pace. One can only welcome the new government measures aimed at clamping down on the illegal fuel trade and industrial pollution. The conservative administration and the prime minister personally are well aware that from now on the government is like a bicycle – it must either go forward or fall over. That said, we shall never tire of stressing the importance of a strong opposition. The disheartening sight of a crumbling PASOK following its heavy election defeat on September 16 should please no one. A healthy opposition party is in everyone’s best interest, from the prime minister down to the last citizen in the country. One hopes that the socialist PASOK party can soon manage to recover from the electoral shock and the ongoing in-party skirmishes and come up with a fresh political identity and leader. It would only damage the country – and the party itself – if PASOK were to regress into the convenient albeit sterile discourse and blanket rejectionism.