Populist leaders swap roles

Prior to the Socialists’ rise to power in the last elections, their leader George Papandreou assured voters that «there is enough money» and rejected any proposals for the introduction of tough fiscal measures. Now that PASOK is in charge of the country and Prime Minister Papandreou’s government is introducing belt-tightening measures, the conservative opposition leader is spouting similar theories. It is interesting to see Antonis Samaras, who succeeded Costas Karamanlis as New Democracy leader after the party was trounced in the general elections, claim that the state could make use of the huge amount of property under its ownership and insist that there is a large amount of money that is simply waiting to be discovered by the state. The populist posturing of opposition leaders in Greece could have catastrophic consequences for the nation’s sober management. The country needs leaders who are determined to adopt bold and pragmatic solutions – not mere grandstanders who continue to shy away from addressing the hard stuff.