One last chance for Karamanlis

On Sunday, voters sent the prime minister a very strong message. Some in the conservative camp have advised Premier Costas Karamanlis to ignore that message and to continue on as if nothing has happened. That would be a major mistake. The conservative leader has two options. The one option is to demand the resignation of all his ministers and reshuffle the Cabinet without making any concessions to party acolytes or barons. That is the only way to remove those who are responsible, or even partly responsible, for the defeat – meaning those who are responsible for public safety, communication, the party apparatus – which he has himself described as «ailing» – and state finances. If the conservative leader truly succeeded in «changing everything» without making compromises and concessions and if the Maximos Mansion got its PR act together, then that would make a meaningful wager. But if Karamanlis chooses to limit himself to making recommendations at the Cabinet meeting and a conventional speech at the party’s central committee, then he will have wasted one more chance. It could be his last.