Where is the light?

The government claims to be «crushed,» «torn» and «saddened» by the fact that it has had to stray from its ideology. Such laments have come from Prime Minister George Papandreou, Labor Minister Andreas Loverdos and PASOK’s parliamentary spokesman Christos Papoutsis, a real man of the people. We seem to be hearing more about the government’s inner anguish than we do about its ideas to steer the country. Whether all this saccharine emotion dates back to the father of the Socialist party is known only by the oldest and most intimate cadres of PASOK. But what is certain is that when Evangelos Venizelos, a veteran of the party, talks about «light at the end of the tunnel,» he is casting his mind back to the very same words of comfort uttered by the late Andreas Papandreou back in the day. The number of years that have elapsed since are of little importance, as successive PASOK administrations uttering the same phrase have proved that the clock of politics has stopped and, with it, so has the rhetoric that is mired in the same platitudes. From government to government, and austerity program to austerity program, from tunnel to tunnel, everything seems to change yet remain the same: The measures are always harsh and hard-hitting, they always favor the same few over the many others (hurting those who are already down), they allow those who always get away with things to keep doing so and they always contain the same vows to make the tax system more equitable and to crack down on those who continue to enjoy the benefits of Jacob, while the many and weak continue to shoulder the burden of Job without hope of reward for their sacrifices. And, of course, the lie at the heart of the promise that «there is light at the end of the tunnel» also remains the same.

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