OPINION

A bunch of amateurs

No reasonable person can be pleased to see that two Qatari companies have decided to scrap their plans for a private natural gas and power project at the port of Astakos in western Greece. On the other hand, everyone has the right to criticize the poor handling of the matter by the amateur politicians that comprise the administration of Premier George Papandreou. Minister of State Haris Paboukis rushed to announce Qatar’s planned investments in Greece – before these had actually been finalized – when he was in Paris in an attempt to repair the damage caused by the negative fallout following the revelation of Greece coming under supervision by its international creditors. His announcement was a pure publicity stunt. The problem was that the Socialist government, a sorry bunch of underperforming officials, thought they had the necessary know-how and experience to negotiate the country’s survival. The role of Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou in Greece’s signing of the memorandum with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund was amateurism par excellence. The manner in which Paboukis, and some other PASOK officials, tried to attract large foreign investments was rather unconventional. One can only hope that Qatar’s investment at the site of the former airport at Elliniko will not end in another farce, such as that of the Astakos investment, even though the Socialists chose to put the blame on the companies involved in the ill-fated project. The strength of the so-called reformist group inside PASOK was its alleged technocratic superiority vis-a-vis the old guard. But the reformists have not lived up to all the talk of proficient skills. Furthermore, these officials are only deluding themselves if they think that their less-gifted colleagues or the citizenry have failed to acknowledge their supposed achievements on the global stage. We feel no solidarity with the reformist officials within the Papandreou administration. We shall leave them to the judgment of PASOK’s traditional officials and supporters who actually voted them into power. The problem is that we all suffer the consequences of their failed policies.