Winning the battle of credibility

After weeks of political foot-dragging, the Socialist administration is finally taking measures to tackle the dire fiscal crisis plaguing the country. The stability program announced last week by the government contains many positive measures and is, overall, one that will move the country in the right direction. The key to success will be that the administration of Prime Minister George Papandreou sees these measures through. It must prove it has the courage to resist the excessive demands and political pressure from the unions which are looking to defend vested interests. Will the PASOK government, for example, manage to fend off renewed demands from farmers who are seeking fresh subsidies? Will it dare to trim the extra wages going into the pockets of parliamentary staff? Will it make it compulsory for taxi drivers and gas station owners to use cash registers? Will it open up closed professions? The government is sure to face many crucial tests in the coming weeks. If it wants to win the battle of credibility, it must show that it can slash waste and privileges as well as curbing tax evasion.

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