Drawing a line under bad habits

It is hoped that the end of the local election race will also bring an end to the speculation over snap early national elections initiated by Prime Minister George Papandreou before the first round last Sunday. For the past few weeks the government has not behaved like a government in a time of crisis. Its ministers have been doing their own thing, while deadlines outlined in the EU-IMF memorandum have elapsed without any action being taken. This situation must end today and the premier needs to brace himself for all the hard work ahead and to secure consensus from the opposition, even if it means halting the work of parliamentary committees investigating political and financial scandals that are polarizing the political body. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, meanwhile, needs to give up his fervent anti-memorandum rhetoric and continue to give his support to the tough decisions even if this involves him backing more painful cutbacks in the public sector.