OPINION

Major test for ND leadership

Without a doubt, Prime Minister George Papandreou made some critical mistakes in the way he managed the economic crisis, both before he was elected and after. He also never really sought to build a consensus among the main parties, neither as leader of the main opposition party nor as prime minister, as he has failed to fully brief all the other party leaders. Whatever his mistakes, however, they do not serve as an excuse for opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras to withhold his vote of support for the rescue deal drawn up by the government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The last administration, an ND government, bears much of the responsibility for the current situation and Samaras has already admitted that he considers the austerity measures necessary. His stance now will be a crucial test for the leadership of ND. While the path of shrugging off responsibility may seem easier, it will lead to the demise of the country and of any chance ND may have of convincing the Greek people in the future that it is capable of governing the country.