COMMENT

Always the fault of others

By Nikos Konstandaras

On Thursday, Parliament rejected a proposal by the main opposition party, SYRIZA, for a parliamentary investigation into “the conditions that led to calling in the International Monetary Fund and to Greece’s subjection to the regime of the memorandums and foreign monitoring and the responsibility of New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and every other involved person.” This, of course, is not the end of this story.

The parties that voted in favor of the proposal – leftist SYRIZA, the right-wing Independent Greeks, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and the Communist Party – will keep returning to the issue, knowing that the more difficult it becomes for the triparty government to handle the demands of foreign creditors and the protests of Greek citizens, the easier it will be for them to scavenge votes. This position is not only expedient – it shows how our political system, from the extreme left to right, is obsessed with grandstanding at the expense of dealing with challenges as they arise.

Indeed, an examination of the conditions that led to bankruptcy would be most useful if it centered on the general mentality and practices of the whole political system, as well as on the mistakes, delays, negligence and crimes of Greeks and foreigners which destroyed the country’s productivity and resulted in the disorganization that will not allow us to stand on our feet. Acknowledging the mistakes of the past, understanding them and apportioning blame where it is due would help us to set up new structures to deal with the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Instead, the proposal for the parliamentary probe sets the framework for the investigation and prejudices its result: Responsibility lies only with ND and PASOK (with reference to “every other involved person” serving as a cover). This mentality is a fundamental part of our politics. As SYRIZA notes in its proposal, New Democracy also called for such a probe when the Socialists were alone in government; now in power, it circles the wagons with the other coalition members and rejects an investigation.

No party looks at what it can offer – here and now – in terms of improving education, in attracting investments, in the better management of a very difficult situation, in fortifying a society that is in despair. Instead, they remain stuck on bankrupt methods.

Beyond the responsibilities of those who governed – and they are great – we can cast blame also on those who continue to peddle conspiracy theories and easy solutions. And they are many.

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