The holiday season, which was long and optimistic, is ending and well wishes are wrapping up, along with any impact they may have had. After the holiday respite, the country is returning to the same place as it was at the end of last year.
At the dawn of 2018, we are at the cusp between an expected leap forward and the danger of sinking. The country confronts great dilemmas that have besieged it for nearly a decade.
However much the prospects for the New Year rekindle hopes and expectations, the wavering remains, and concerns and uncertainties are still intact.
Normally, after so many years of complications and impasses, Greece should have already shaped the preconditions for the economy to take off. Yet, there are many ghosts, and even more dilemmas, that are besieging the country.
With the advent of the new year, the Macedonian naming issue was revisited, and a settlement akin to what was on offer 25 years ago was returned to the table.
Also from the end of last year, we have experienced intensely problematic Greek-Turkish relations, which remain a heavy and unbearable weight after four decades.
Even after a decade of economic collapse and perpetual crisis, one has not yet determined the best method to return to a path of rapid growth. It has not yet been determined whether it will be the bankrupt state that will act as the motor for growth, or whether it will be a dynamic, reconstituted private sector.
In an era of rapidly aging populations, the best and most suitable social insurance programme has not been studied.
Worst of all, in the age of artificial intelligence, and of the huge growth of robotics and new technologies, we insist that our universities must be state-run, standardised, and cut off from the cycle of production and of available private capital.
One can cite countless areas of anachronistic dilemmas and historical ghosts that torture the country and its people in an absolutely irrational manner.
The times demand vigilance. In an era of great historical leaps, and when others are moving forward at dizzying speeds, the country cannot continue backpedaling.
Greece now needs a daring and organised leadership, which is capable of shouldering the responsibility without fear and passions, and which can assume the risk of a clear and contemporary choice, thus inspiring with its example the tortured Greek people.
Wavering, tricks, and hypocrisy are no longer acceptable, as they do not correspond to the efforts and sacrifices of the citizenry, nor to the demands of the times.