Negativism leads us nowhere

One of the key problems dogging Greece’s political system is the failure of party leaders to truly grasp the short-sightedness of their blanket rejectionism. As opposition leader, George Papandreou stuck with sterile negativism. He is now finding it hard to justify basic policies, from the redevelopment of the former airport at Elliniko to the implementation of the IMF/EU memorandum. Antonis Samaras has adopted a similar stance, claiming that the painful measures mandated by the IMF can be avoided. But everyone knows that, should he one day succeed Mr Papandreou, he too would have to follow the memorandum’s requirements. Greece will only change when the government and the opposition agree on some basic reforms. The liberalization of road freight is an isolated but encouraging example. If the two parties had joined hands on some key reforms in the past, Greece would now be a completely different country.

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