Fiscal health should top agenda

Prime Minister George Papandreou’s initiative to ask President Karolos Papoulias to convene a meeting of party leaders in order to discuss ways of tackling the widespread corruption that plagues Greece is a very positive development. What would be an even more assertive move would be for the country’s party leaders to also discuss the fiscal crisis after being briefed by the prime minister and the governor of the Bank of Greece as to the real extent of the problem. Corruption is certainly a serious problem that must rank high on the government’s agenda, but what is most pressing right now is the issue of public debt and the need to take immediate measures before Greece’s borrowing power becomes even more diminished. Papandreou is being presented with an opportunity to ensure the support of certain party leaders and to move ahead with much-needed reforms without running into any major obstacles. Moreover, the country does not need the prime minister going on about Greece ceding its sovereignty. What it needs is decisions that will help Greece hold on to what is truly its own.

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