In this lengthy post on his Facebook page, titled “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Thanassis Karteros, the head of the prime minister’s press office and a former columnist at the government-affiliated Avgi newspaper, condemned the reactions of the politicians implicated in the Novartis affair and the debate in Parliament that earlier this week approved the creation of a committee to probe accusations of bribery.
“Look at it this way and you may understand why I have ended up understanding, even sympathizing. As Leftists, we have always been professional defendants, in a way. Thousands and thousands of us have stood in the dock – at times for small offenses, such as disturbing the peace or resisting authority, or vilifying police or some other mob activities, at others on charges that resulted in heavy sentences, life terms, or even to the firing squad wall. Not to mention the plethora of people imprisoned without trial. A mere decision by the Security Committee – a body comprising the local prefect, police chief and main prosecutor – could see the accused having to battle it out on [the exile islands of] Gyaros, Ai Stratis or Makronissos.
“In view of all this, you could say that we are a party of accused. While others were doing their time at Harvard, we were doing ours in the dock. Examine the lineage of any leftist party and movement, and it will be hard to find someone who did not go through a trial, imprisonment or a beating – invariably in the name of the nation.
“Now let us consider the others, the opposite side. Those who upheld the law. The elite that produced police officers, secret police, prosecutors, ministers, prime ministers, pillars of the regime, relentless persecutors of every subversive element – regardless of party affiliation. The elite that snatched us, tried us, condemned us – reserved for us all kinds of special attention by the police and judiciary.
“And now some of them stand accused. From the top echelons too. OK, not exactly accused, but probably accused, if we are to be precise, as there are no handcuffs or thrashings, there is not even a courtroom yet.
“In any case, the fact that their names are mentioned in legal briefs, signed by others; the fact that they must explain themselves to Parliament, where others have a majority; to be called to investigative committees that others have formed – this is a bit of a bitter pill. It is unprecedented. Immoral. We are talking about the sacred elite, if you get my meaning.
“And it is not only that prominent members of society are being dragged to investigative magistrates or, albeit, before investigative committees. It’s about who is doing the dragging. It’s topsy-turvy: like the feet kicking the head. It’s the stowaways of power interrogating their masters! It’s unconscionable! It’s the wild animals chasing the tame. It’s [former prime minister Antonis] Samaras having his name written in the black book – or judicial files – of the gang. It’s [New Democracy vice president] Adonis [Georgiadis] being denounced by the rebels. And as the reds smile from their seats in the government benches, the elite are wailing their defense.
“They are entitled to be both surprised and amazed, and apoplectic with fury, in the face of such a reversal. They have a right to cry, to swear and threaten, to howl and to lie, to apologize to their spouses, faced with such scandal. They also have the right to predict which heads will roll when they return to their kingdom. They have a right to shout about gangsters, gang bosses, bums and even bastards in front of such evil.
“Put more simply, they have a right to not be dignified, because they are accustomed to the dignity of the critic whom no one dares criticize. When the leftists were earning the dignity of the persecuted, they were enjoying the dignity of the hunter.
“Now they are the ones being hunted! They deserve our sympathy. Absolutely and without caveats. With such scandal, with so many scumbags after them, with such bad luck that has befallen them – Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”