Alexis Papachelas ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

Irreversible damage

COMMENT

TAGS: Politics

We are entering a very dark and turbulent period which should be expected to last until the next legislative election. Talk of scandals (about real as well as fabricated cases) will take center stage and intensify. 

The country had to put an end to rampant corruption in certain key areas including state supplies and arms procurements where government waste was unchecked. 

This undeniable imperative however has been hijacked by a government effort to throw mud on its political rivals. As usual, it will unfortunately make very little difference whether anything is proved, for the reputations of its political opponents will have already been damaged.

After all, no politician really cares about the collateral damage of political games. It would be criminal if people who are innocent of wrongdoing were to end up paying the price for it. 

A section of Greece’s political system and establishment was indeed rotten to the core; and they are to blame for the country’s bankruptcy.

The country’s international creditors and the bailout programs imposed rules of transparency and spending restraints which were previously unthinkable in Greece.

However, the Greek governments of the bailout era squandered a huge opportunity because despite the introduction of institutions such as the corruption investigators, they were reluctant to step up the investigation of various cases, barring arms procurements scandals.

Now Pandora’s box has been opened. The SYRIZA-led government has chosen the path of scandalmongering in the runup to the polls.

It obviously thinks that this is the safest way to attract the anti-systemic vote. Its haste is raising questions about its true intentions.

Division in the country will grow deeper at a time when consensus is called for between political parties regarding its post-bailout years and the major national challenges ahead. 

Such machinations are always bound to create vicious cycles and, if history is any guide, the country will find it very hard to escape from this one.

The trading of barbs and accusations will feed into people’s revulsion toward mainstream parties and push voters toward the extremes of the political spectrum.

The show at the Colosseum is on. It may offer no solutions for the problems of today and tomorrow, but there is plenty of spectacle on offer with both the innocent and the guilty being thrown to the lions. 

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