Voters to exercise caution

In less than a month, Greek voters will head to the polls to elect a new government. Times are critical. The country needs a new government with a strong mandate. If the past is any guide, a comfortable majority in Parliament does not guarantee a strong government. It appears that a strong government, in the eyes of voters, is one which has in-depth knowledge of the issues even before it comes to power; it is a government that has an overall plan for its first 100 days in power and will not yield to resistance from vested interests. Costas Karamanlis, the conservative prime minister, will have to convince voters that a new administration of New Democracy will have the strength and determination to carry out all the measures and reforms that should have been implemented in the previous five-and-a-half years. On his part, socialist leader George Papandreou must persuade voters that he has concrete proposals and will not resort to the populist measures often favored by the grassroots of his party. People know that the country needs a strong government but, this time, they will certainly scrutinize political promises more before finally casting their ballot.