The times are critical and call for courage, unity and decisive moves on the part of the political leadership. Unfortunately, none of these three qualities are in evidence. There is not even any unity within the ranks of the government. Cabinet members have gone to ground as they don’t want to be identified with the fiasco that is the government’s mishandling of the crisis. The government appears to be in shock and instead of putting on a show of strength, is displaying nervousness and bewilderment. The opposition is trying to make political capital out of the situation without comprehending the magnitude of the crisis. The state is paralyzed, despite the heroic efforts of firefighters, a handful of police officers and those who cleaned up Athens overnight. Even President Karolos Papoulias, who could have served as a point of reference and inspiration, has confined himself to making what was a rather awkward statement. We could be witnessing the end of an era. But until people decide what era should succeed the current shambles, the government would do well to function with some coordination and at least a minimum of determination and planning.