Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 12, 2010


...και το αναδημοσιεύω γιατί πάει πολύς καιρός απο τότε που γράφτηκε κάτι καλό για τη χώρα μας σε μεγάλη εφημερίδα παγκόσμιας εμβέλειας. 

Greek premier George Papandreou shows coolness under pressure
(Greece's economic turbulence has proved an opportunity as much as a challenge for prime minister Papandreou)
Helena Smith guardian.co.uk

George Papandreou's approval ratings have hardly dipped despite introducing draconian austerity measures. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP

George Papandreou, Greece's hard-working prime minister, relishes a battle. Which is just as well – in the six months since the socialist modernizer assumed power, the country has lunged from crisis to crisis, its economy teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, blighted by debt and crippling borrowing costs.

But for Papandreou, whose approval ratings have hardly dipped despite draconian austerity measures more redolent of a right wing government, the crisis – Greece's worst in modern times – is not all negative.

Instead, it has afforded a golden opportunity for the 57-year-old to push ahead with a radical programme of reform that will, he hopes, change the way Greece works and the way its people think. It has also offered a unique chance for the US-born son and grandson of former Greek premiers finally to prove his mettle.

"A lot of other people would have buckled under the pressure but George thrives in crisis, he has a deep calmness about him that is almost unrivalled," says a leading member of his inner circle.

Even Papandreou's fiercest critics concede that with the economic turbulence not only shaking the body politic of Greece but threatening the EU and single currency, the country has been lucky to be led by someone who exudes an undeniable coolness under fire.

Greeks who would never have voted for his Panhellenic Socialist movement, Pasok, have been surprised by his stamina. Since the crisis erupted, the leader, who also doubles as the country's foreign minister, has clocked up more than 66,590 air miles – the equivalent of three trips around the world – in an unprecedented diplomatic drive to shore up Greece's battered credibility.

His Herculean efforts have not been without reward. Concerns over the Greek economy may not have abated but in the corridors of power, and most noticeably in Brussels, the climate has changed.

Newspapers that once made a point of highlighting his grammatical slips – Papandreou's mother is American and he is more comfortable speaking English than Greek – have replaced rudeness with reverence. No longer is he portrayed as a well-meaning but ineffectual politician. Even those who insisted on calling him Giorgakis, "little George", have been silenced as the perception grows that it is Papandreou's deft diplomacy and determination that have thus far averted fiscal collapse.

"It often feels with George as if you are in the presence of a wise foreign policy Socrates gently disentangling knotty difficulties," says Denis MacShane, the UK's former minister for Europe. "He is very calm and sees problems as something to be solved not shouted about. He's honest and has a first-rate reputation. Many would have been very happy if he had been available to be Europe's foreign minister."

It wasn't always so. Until his Pasok party's landslide victory last October, Papandreou was admired abroad where his consensus policies, global outlook and quiet determination invariably won plaudits. But at home, his breezy cosmopolitanism, penchant for English-speaking aides and fanatical fitness regime jarred with Greeks.

The son of the fiery Andreas Papandreou, a three-time prime minister who founded Pasok out of an anti-junta movement that mixed socialist rhetoric with heady nationalism, the non-dogmatic George could not be more different. A charismatic leader who headed the economics department at the University of Berkeley in California for years, Andreas openly taunted the west, creating a chaotic, state-dependent economy that spawned fiscal mismanagement – now seen as the source of many of the country's ills.

Papandreou's coolness is attributed to his violent induction into the world of politics. Barely a teenager, he felt the cold muzzle of a pistol being placed at his temple when the secret police, in hot pursuit of his father, stormed the family home in Athens within hours of the 1967 Colonels' coup.

"He is deeply intuitive," said the close aide. "Perhaps because he grew up in a political environment he is incredibly attuned. He can smell an atmosphere."

It is his peripatetic childhood – he was raised in the US, Sweden, Canada and the UK – that has, say friends, given him the distance to look at Greece with a detachment that is rare among his bickering Balkan compatriots. Also a fluent Swedish speaker, Papandreou has publicly said he would like nothing more than to see his country become the Denmark of the south.

Briefing his EU counterparts in Brussels last year, he spoke not only of Greece's endemic problem of corruption but chose to expose its ills to an extent that was painful to hear – revealing that alongside a debt to GDP ratio of 120%, the budget deficit was over four times the permissible 3% EU level.

"He's probably the most westernised PM, culturally, Greece has had in recent times," said Professor Kevin Featherstone, who heads the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics.

"His instinctive reference points are international."

Papandreou is acutely aware that, ultimately, the crisis could make or break him. He also knows that nothing short of a revolution will reform Greece.

If he pulls it off, he will go down as the man who oversaw the rebirth of his country – a statesman on a scale bigger than his namesake grandfather who oversaw Greece after the Second World War.

11 σχόλια:

Ανώνυμος είπε...


"ΣΑΛΩΝΙΤΗΣ" είπε...

Το να την κάνεις "γαργάρα" στα όσα τραγικά έως ευτράπελα συμβαίνουν με τους μαθητευόμενους κολεγιόπαιδες του Κολωνακίου, τα οποία με την ανικανότητά τους(;) έχασαν επί πέντε μήνες όσα θα εισπράξουν τα επόμενα πέντε χρόνια από τη αφαίμαξη του κοσμάκι και να μου εμφανίζεσαι όταν κάποιο μίσθαρνο δημοσιογραφικό πληκτρολόγιο αγιογραφεί τον ποδηλάτη, είναι υπεκφυγή η οποία έχει το ίδιο ακριβώς αποτέλεσμα με τον στρουθοκαμηλισμό! Το πρόβλημα μένει, αλλά εσύ δεν το βλέπεις γιατί απλώς έχεις χωμένο το κεφάλι σου στην άμμο!

Ανώνυμος είπε...

@salonitis.agapite min tros tin propaganda tou samarokaramalik giati kamia kubernisi den exei kanei tosa polla se pente mono mines.antitheta xasame mia 4 etia tou simiti kai alla 5 1/2 xronia tou karamanli xoris na ginei ena sugxrono kratos i ellada.kai sto leo ego pou gurisa apo ameriki to 2001 kai efuga to 2004.
epitelous kai enas pragmatikos ugetis stin ellada stin pio duskoli stigmi tis !!!

"ΣΑΛΩΝΙΤΗΣ" είπε...

@ Ανώνυμος:
Αγαπητέ μου, θα μπορούσα να ξεκινήσω το σχόλιο - απάντηση με μια ερώτηση προς εσένα: "Μοιάζω για άνθρωπος που τρώει προπαγάνδα;"!
Δεν το κάνω όμως και μπαίνω στο θέμα:Η άποψή σου σχετικά με το τί συμβαίνει στη χώρα μου, έχει την ίδια αξία της δικής μου για την Αλαμπάμα, την Ντακότα, το Ιλινόης και οποιαδήποτε άλλη Πολιτεία των ΗΠΑ!
Είναι φανερό ότι έχεις χάσει επεισόδια από τα συμβαίνοντα στη χώρα μου και αυτό σε καθιστά de gacto αναρμόδιο να έχεις άποψη και πολύ περισσότερο να θες να μας την επιβάλεις!Αντιλαμβάνομαι ότι αυτό απορέει απο την επιθυμία σου να βοηθήξσεις, δια του επειρεασμού, τον εκλεκτό των ΗΠΑ, αλλά θα σε συμβούλευα εσείς οι συμπατριώτες μας ελληνοαμερικανοί να ασκείτε την όποια επιροή σας προς τον εκάστοτε Πρόεδρο της φίλης χώρας και όχι να σας πιάνουν κορόϊδο όλοι και αφού τους ψηφίσετε να μή γνωρίζουν μετά τις εκλογές που πέφτει η Κύπρος και ποια είναι η ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ!

alzap είπε...

Δεν νομίζω ότι χρειάζονται απάντηση τα σχόλιά σου.
Αυτοχαρακτηρίζεσαι τόσο απο την καρμπόν προπαγάνδα του Χρύσανθου και του Φαήλου που εκστομίζει ο Σαμαράς και αναμασάς εσύ.
Ξέπλενε όσο θέλεις τις κυβερνήσεις Καραμανλή. Δεν θα έχεις αποτέλεσμα. Οι βρωμιές και οι αλητείες σε βάρος του ελληνικού λαού θα παραμένουν ορατές για πολλά-πολλά χρόνια...

"ΣΑΛΩΝΙΤΗΣ" είπε...

Ρε Αλέκο είναι γνωστό σε όλους ότι για τους δικούς σου λόγους, εσύ, όταν δεν βρίσκεται "σοσιαλιστική" κυβέρνηση στην εξουσία "δεν υπάρχεις"! Κατά συνέπεια, δεν περιμένω να καταλάβεις ότι υπάρχουν και άνθρωποι με μή κατευθυνόμενη - λοβοτομημέμη σκέψη! Σε κατανοώ απόλυτα, μετά τα ...φιλολαϊκά μέτρα κιόλας....

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Δεν ξερω αν το "σίβυλλα" το εχει διαβασει το αρθρο αυτο.

Ανώνυμος είπε...


File apo to "Avatar" kai mono mporei kapoios na katalavei ti rolo paizeis. Zhse sthn kosmara soy...kapote tha xypnhseis.

"ΣΑΛΩΝΙΤΗΣ" είπε...

@ Ανώνυμος:
Oti peis amerikanaki!

"ΣΑΛΩΝΙΤΗΣ" είπε...

@ Ανώνυμος:
Το "avatar" Αμερικανοθρεμένε, είναι πίνακας που βρίσκεται στο Παρίσι (εθνική πινακοθήκη) και απεικονίζει τον Καπετάνιο του Γαλαξιδιού Μητρόπουλο την ώρα που καταλαμβάνει το Κάστρο της Ά μφισσας, στις 10/4/1821 από του Τούρκους κατακτητές!Αν σε ενοχλεί φλούφλη διάβασε αμερικανική ιστορία για το πως ο Κάστερ έσφαζε τους Ινδιάνους Ιθαγενείς και ασε μας εμάς με την τρισχιλιόχρονη ιστορία μας!

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Αμερικανοθρεμενος σε διαβεβαιω δεν ειμαι,Αλλα οχι και μπουλης σαν κι εσενα.