Ten months of PASOK governance

Comparative evaluation of the government’s performance in various policy areas and its ministers

Analysis by


The first three months of implementation of the measures set out in the Memorandum[1] coincides with the completion of 10 months of PASOK governance. The significant decline in government support stemming from social discontent, in an extremely short space of time, is clearly reflected in the attitudes of citizens, not only toward the government policies being exercised (or not) but also toward the persons entrusted with their implementation. The measurement conducted by Public Issue is on two levels: a) First, on the basis of detailed evaluation indices, it assesses the present situation in 19 government policy areas, as well as the changes that have taken place in each area, during the crucial first half of 2010. b) Second, using a 10-point evaluation scale, it assesses the performance of 16 ministers (including the prime minister, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio). The present situation in these different areas of government policy, as perceived by citizens, is also compared with the one recorded in the corresponding measurement last March, i.e. before the signing of the Memorandum. The government policy areas that are evaluated do not correspond precisely (‘one-to-one’) to the current ministries, i.e. to the existing structure of public administration and the successive administrative changes that have come about therein. Due to the overlapping of powers and responsibilities that prevails in public administration, for either objective or historical/political reasons, this would be practically impossible. However, the selected policy areas essentially correspond to what citizens subjectively consider to be ‘governance’.

The decline in support for the new government is quite striking. Although only 10 months have passed since it came to power, the present picture differs very little from that of its predecessor (Karamanlis administration), in summer 2009. Compared to one year ago, social discontent has increased in all six (6) areas of government policy which relate to the economy and development (unemployment, inflation, agriculture, SMEs, regional development and tourism). Of the 19 areas of governance in total which are evaluated, the government’s only relative success (based on the criterion of the percentage of improvement being higher than the percentage of deterioration or no change) is ‘neighborhood policing’.

In general, the only improvement recorded is in the areas of governance relating to ‘law and order’ (policing, crime, immigration, nar-cotics), areas that are directly linked to citizens’ sense of security. It is also worth noting that in three areas of government policy (unem-ployment, inflation and SMEs), the percentages of deterioration are above 90%, while in another three (social security, tourism and crime) the percentages of deterioration are almost 70%.

At the same time, the decline in government support and the repercussions of the Memorandum are clearly reflected also at the level of incumbents (ministers): With the exception of the Citizens’ Protection Minister (6.3), Defense Minister (6.3) and Prime Minister/Foreign Minister (6.1), no other minister manages to pass the middle value of 5.5 (on a scale of 1-10). And while all – without exception – showed a negative change in the three-month period, the greatest decline was registered by the ministers of: Finance (-2), Employment (-1.6) and Health (-1.6).

1.Economic Adjustment Program for Greece, as agreed with EU, ECB and IMF

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*Political scientist, PhD, President & CEO of Public Issue

Date of publication: 01/08/2010
Publication: Newspaper “KATHIMERINI”