Time to rise to the occasion

Regardless of the outcome of local elections, it would be a grave mistake to drag Greece into a fresh campaign for general elections. There is no time to lose. The socialist government must push through fiscal and other structural reforms or it could risk losing the next installment of IMF money. Premier George Papandreou and his ministers must rise to the occasion and resume the daunting task ahead. Soon they will be asked to make even more painful decisions and they will have to pay the price of a disorganized administration that failed to act quickly on key shortfalls. Calling a fresh election will not solve any of these issues. The question is simple: Can Papandreou carry the burden expected of him in the next 18 months? If not, he ought to come clean and tell Greeks what needs to be done. Perhaps politicians should form an emergency administration, involving contributors from beyond the narrow confines of political parties, to help pull the nation out of the fiscal hole it has dug itself into.