A bit­ter pill, but swal­low we must

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

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?

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