Genuine reform? We shall see

Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday announced an ambitious plan to put the country back on its feet. However, we don’t know how the markets and Brussels will react, as the PM failed to announce specific measures for cutbacks beyond this year’s budget. It does not look good. Another question that arises is whether and how Papandreou will go about making radical structural changes to crack down on tax evasion, on corruption, on waste at public hospitals and other such persistent problems. It is certain that he will come up against the same powerful and vested interests that tripped up the New Democracy government before him and PASOK governments before that. We can only hope that Papandreou achieves even a part of what he announced. However, so far, he seems to be oblivious to the dangers created by Greece’s waning credibility and the reactions of the markets. The near future will show whether the prime minister has done well, while we shall see in the long-term whether he, the government and his party want, know how and are able to make the structural changes that have been discussed and touted for so many years.

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