A bitter pill, but swallow we must
Greece’s lawmakers face a very difficult decision today. The midterm austerity program, along with a number of emergency measures, contains many unfair reforms, especially in regard to new taxes that will further strangle the private sector. The PASOK government has failed yet again to display courage and to press ahead with measures that will significantly restrict public spending. On the other hand, a rejection by Parliament of the agreement will mean that Greece will default. For Greece’s lenders and partners in Europe, who are preparing their respective publics for a second rescue package, it is imperative that these measures pass despite their highly unpopular nature. No one can can blame left-wing parties for voting against the measures, but it is important that the rest of the parliamentarians keep in mind just how much is at stake, what the risks are for the country, and vote according to what their conscience tells them, without bending to pressure. This will not be an easy task, but who said that this is any time for politicians who can’t take the heat?