OPINION

Will and won’t are not the same

Even though the words «will» and «won’t» are both short and start with the same letter, there is absolutely no reason why they should be confused – unless there is a political reason behind doing so, a political will that is not happy with just changing the way things are but also wants to go ahead with changing the meaning of words. This, alas, is the case with our ruling PASOK party, and it always has been. The Socialists said they wouldn’t cut salaries and pensions. By changing their «won’t» to «will,» they did. They said they wouldn’t fiddle around with retirement ages. But then they did. PASOK said it would combat intransparency in the exercise of government policy and wouldn’t allow authority to be exercised by friends and relatives who have not been cleared through proper channels. Yet, as the Socialist party plays around with the idea of electronic governance, some family members are exercising their hereditary right to participate in various shady deals, while friends, in the guise of advisers, have bypassed the ministers. PASOK said that it wouldn’t bring back the amnesty for tax evaders. It could not even remember saying that it wouldn’t when it announced that yes, it will. It said that there would be no construction work carried out without first being subjected to an environmental impact study. But it did and almost transformed the port town of Astakos into a transit hub for a deadly natural gas. PASOK said that it would never present a draft law in Parliament that is not completely polished, that it wouldn’t try to sneak in sly amendments with unrelated draft laws and wouldn’t make any official announcements without having first received input from all the interested institutional parties. Yet all of this happened when it came to the so-called «citizen’s card» or a proposal to post individuals’ tax details on the Internet. It said it wouldn’t tolerate the kind of profiteering that turned the Greek market into one of the most expensive among its European peers. Now, PASOK is saying that it won’t adopt new, harsher austerity measures. But no one is buying it, because its won’ts sound like wills. And they are.