OPINION

Easy fix is just a delusion

Some government officials still labor under the delusion that the government can escape bankruptcy without having to impose tough structural measures. They hope that some tinkering with the social security system and other sectors will allow Greece to borrow again and avoid supervision by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. However unpleasant the prospect of tough reforms may be, Prime Minister George Papandreou and his government no longer have the choice of running away from them as his predecessors did. If the government wants to avoid the watchful eye of the IMF, it will have to take the initiative itself and lead the recovery program. If it fails, it will have no other solution but to turn to the EU and the IMF for help. The time to decide which way to go is now. It matters little whether Greece needs to borrow for just a little while longer or not, and the markets, as well as the public, will not tolerate any more indecision. There are no easy solutions and no one will lend Greece money that does not come with some unpleasant strings, so we might as well give up the delusions.