In Portugal, the prime minister invited the leader of the main opposition party for talks on the imposition of the tough structural reform measures that were voted through parliament for 2011. Such a thing happening in Greece appears unlikely but if it doesn’t, and fairly soon, the country will not survive the austerity measures nor will its political leaders emerge unscathed from the tribulations facing Greek society in coming years. Prime Minister George Papandreou and main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras can make history by pointing the way together to a national consensus that will put an end to the vulgar populism that has prevailed in political discourse in recent decades, weaken the catastrophic force of unreasonable protest and help build a modern, European state. Papandreou made a mistake by not using his clout to more effect when he was in opposition. If he had, perhaps the challenge today would have been less dire. He now has the opportunity to change this, as does Samaras. Either the two parties must work together to save the country or they will sink along with it.