Sitting down at a table to hold talks on important issues in order to reach as broad a consensus as possible is, without doubt, an integral and necessary part of the democratic process. But not when dialogue is held simply in order to buy time and as an excuse for finding real solutions to very real problems. We have recently witnessed something of an epidemic of government ministers who, in order to avoid the political cost often entailed by the difficult and necessary decisions they should be making, have kept the issues firmly on the «dialogue» agenda, effectively relegating them to the Greek calends, in other words, never. This administration has had five whole years to examine and tackle the problems that are evident in education and in the energy sector, to name just two areas where intervention is imperative, and one would expect that in this time it would have formed some firm opinions about what needs to change and how reforms can be implemented. For dialogue to be substantial it needs to have an objective and a strict timeframe. Otherwise, it becomes nothing more than an excuse to change nothing.