Resisting demands is a must
PASOK is quite right in its determination not to give in to farmers’ demands, because at this point, any sign that the government is yielding to union demands will compromise the country’s ability to borrow money and raise questions about its resolve. Meanwhile, it would also encourage other labor groups to follow similar coercive tactics in the belief that if you push hard enough, you will eventually get what you want. The country is at an impasse. Senior public servants can no longer expect to receive such provocatively high benefits, especially without being expected in turn to be productive and earn them. Farmers, who belong to a special category of their own and many of whom have become dependent on subsidies and accustomed to exercising their activity by sitting at the coffee shop rather than tilling the land, will also have to adapt to the new realities. The government has the opportunity to impose important changes for the good of the country, but to do so, it will have to demonstrate that they will be fair and that it will not succumb to unreasonable demands, no matter how powerful the lobby behind them.