OPINION

The key lies in political consensus

The idea of consensus has recently been attacked by partisan critics as well as the populist bashers of the so-called memorandum – the loan deal signed between Prime Minister George Papandreou’s PASOK government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in order to save Greece from default. Notwithstanding the lingering criticism, sober analysts agree that unless there is consensus among the country’s key political forces, the country will not find itself in the position to introduce the reforms that have long been imperative – with or without the memorandum. Consensus does not mean that the Socialist administration gets carte blanche to do whatever it deems necessary. Consensus means recognizing that the country needs a number of basic changes in order to survive financially – and it means standing behind these changes regardless of the political cost entailed. There is little room for maneuver. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the need for consensus has either been blinded by party politics or suffers from complete ignorance as regards the perils that lurk ahead.