Populist sound bites

Given the disquieting public surveys and the apparent exodus of PASOK voters toward the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA), one can understand George Papandreou’s rhetorical switch to an 1980s-style statist platform. However, if PASOK is truly a government-in-waiting, as Papandreou has himself said, the Socialist party leader’s Parliament speech on Thursday was more than just incomprehensible. It was, in fact, potentially damaging to his party as well as the country. Everyone realizes that in order to move forward, Greece is in need of many far-reaching reforms. However, in order to implement its reform program, the conservative administration needs the consent of parties that show responsibility, as opposed to PASOK’s sterile rejectionism. This is what voters are looking for and this has been repeatedly confirmed by the election results. Populist sound bites will help neither the country nor those who utter them.