The people’s anger
Not only are our governments lamentable here in Greece, but so are our opposition parties. Just look at what Prime Minister George Papandreou is going through to get out of all the “commitments” he made in the past. Who can forget him back in the day when he climbed on a soapbox to resist the sale of OTE telecom and other privatizations? Who can forget Louka Katseli – soon to be the economy minister – before the elections, when she tried to convince us that she would renegotiate the COSCO deal with China for the Piraeus Port cargo terminal so that the government could buy back OTE? And, of course, who can forget Papandreou when he fought against the establishment of private universities and the imposition of fiscal discipline measures? The premier was literally stuck during his first months in government because there were those who warned him that if he strayed from the pre-election program, he would lose credibility. And this is exactly what he did, ignoring all the signs and warnings of the storm that was rolling in. Just cast your mind back to the epic battle he fought over public sector salaries over 2,000 euros a months being trimmed. It is this style of opposition that has eroded the credibility of Greece’s politicians. The average citizen in this country wants to know whether Papandreou believes he was right then or whether he’s right now. At least the people want to know why he’s treating them like imbeciles by asking them for the exact opposite of what he once stood for because the country is broke. After all, shouldn’t he have known this when he was preaching outside the Maximos Mansion? These are the questions on the minds of citizens who want to see a little less arrogance and hear a little less “I know best what’s good for the country.” The people have lost their faith in politicians and they feel that they are being treated like dimwitted children. There is a lot of anger out there and voters are not likely to display much patience. This is something opposition New Democracy had best bear in mind, because its time back in government may come a lot sooner than expected. And then it will be its turn to face an explosive situation and explain why its plan was great in 2004, but not so convincing in May 2011.