Welcome signs of consensus

One can only welcome the fact that Greece’s conservative opposition has decided to vote in favor of proposed legislation to overhaul the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE). The New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, is showing signs that it is willing to cooperate with the Socialist government of Prime Minister George Papandreou by throwing its weight behind some painful, albeit necessary reforms. The conservatives may have to sacrifice some votes on the way, but the sorry state of the country’s finances leaves no room for political expediency. By supporting the government’s efforts to open up the road freight sector and, more recently, by voting for the bill to reform OSE, New Democracy has sent the Socialists a clear sign of its willingness to cooperate. Let’s hope that ruling PASOK will respond by taking steps that will lead to a much-needed national consensus on fundamental issues such as the long-delayed changes to Greece’s educational system and the crackdown on corruption.

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