OPINION

Ostensible proposals

The government has expressed its hope (in what sounded more like a conviction) that the social security bill recently presented in Parliament will have been voted on by the end of June without any surprises, thereby resolving a controversy that surfaced last year. Conflict over the social security issue inflicted a heavy loss on the government, and its repercussions will linger even after a settlement has been reached. Still, PASOK’s hopes may indeed be confirmed by month’s end: The opposition has shown that it has no intention of spearheading its attack on the government with the social security issue. The unions, which seem fragmented and preoccupied with their internal conflicts, will probably stage their planned protest rallies – mainly for form’s sake – while people have not reacted (remember what happened in April last year); for they understand that the proposed solutions may not be genuine solutions, but at least they do not upset the existing equilibrium and interests. All’s well that ends well, as they say. Yet this is not the end of a vexing and complex problem but rather the beginning of a new episode in the social security serial. While everyone has long known that the crisis threatens to torpedo the State’s social policies and the life plans of millions of workers and the insured, everyone has been pleased to see patchwork solutions… which created some breathing space by postponing a radical solution, bequeathing the problem to their successors – even if these proved to be from the same party…