The peo­ple’s anger

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PA­PACHELAS

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.

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