Friday, 4 September 2009

Tomorrow we should know more about where Greece is going

Tomorrow we should know more about where Greece is going - that is if the current Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, is re-elected. To avoid a six-month pre-election period which PASOK threatened through not agreeing to the re-election fo the Greek President in March, Karamanlis has called for a general election in Greece on 4th October.
. Tomorrow is an important day because the Prime Minister makes his traditional speech at the opening of the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, when he outlines the government's priorities for the coming period. The mood in New Democracy currently could be described as somber in that many of his party colleagues feel that it is a disaster to bow to elections so soon and that it may mean the end of power for New Democracy. Of course now that the decision is taken they will toe the party line. The trail of government involvement in land scandals (Vatopedi), the Siemens scandal involving high-ranking government officials and the recent fires near Athens and the  incompetent way in which they were handled, do not beckon well for the ruling party and PASOK has been careful not to miss making the easy political capital from New Democracy's mistakes. Karamanlis will also come under tough questionning from the media as to why many of the reform measures promised by him in the past were never implemented. To add to the difficult situation for New Democracy, any political strategy now will have to involve unpopular tax reforms among other things to get Greece out of the economic mess it is confronted with. Not the best political agenda to sell to an already disillusioned public.

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