It Could Have Been Samaras’ Year in 2013

Antonis Samaras, the most unexpected comeback kid in Greek politics, the smiling, sweet Greek Prime Minister, could have been out Person of the Year for 2013.
He could have been the man of the year not only for the things he said but for what he did in the past year.
But we did not choose him – mainly for what he did not. For not making better use of his time. For not plunging a knife deeply enough into the cancer of corruption. For his inability to implement the reforms that are so necessary for the country.
Samaras had the ability to do those things in the beginning of his term. If he had, even on a small scale, the effort would by now have begun to bear fruit. Otherwise, how will the economy move forward and become competitive and productive?
The most frequently heard words of praise for Samaras are that he works hard. And he really does work very hard. Bravo, we say too. Since when, however, is it the highest compliment to pay a man to say that he works hard, especially regarding Prime Ministers? Since when is this a comparative advantage over other leaders? Does German Chancellor Angela Merkel work less hard leading a prosperous Germany?
Is it not the result that counts in history? And with respect to results, how did Samaras do? Did the economy begin to grow when he became Prime Minister? Did he lower unemployment?  Did the youth recover their hope?
This is not to say that Samaras did not have any successes during the past year. Having replaced George Papandreou as Prime Minister, it was relatively easy to convince the impatient European leaders that they now had a serious interlocutor in Athens, a much more respected partner than the completely untested and dangerous Alexis Tsipras, leader of the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party.
Samaras managed to buy time from the Eurozone, and obtained the aid tranches so the state could continue to operate. This is the main component of Samaras’ success. At the beginning of his tenure, the PASOK Socialists and The Democratic Left were his coalition partners. Now there is only PASOK, led by Evangelos Venizelos.
Yes,  Antonis Samaras is in a partnership with Evangelos Venizelos. Who knows how that will ultimately work out? Samaras  convinced Europe and America that the only alternative to his government is chaos and undoubtedly and understandably they prefer him. He guarantees a rational continuity. He is the political leader who speaks their language.
As for Tsipras,  what does he think and understand?  What does he stand for? He is dangerous man at a very dangerous time in the history of the country. But that hasn’t prevented others like him in the past from making history.
Samaras could have been Person of the Year for 2013. But he was not. I wish from my heart that he will be next year.