In Greece, we live with postponements and extensions. There are court cases that never reach a conclusion and irresponsible lawmakers who remain in their positions, useful for political exchanges in Parliament but useless to society. Important cases are delayed, testing the resilience of institutions which are important for the functioning of the state.
Isn’t it true that one’s sense of justice is undermined by dragging on a trial over the death of 20-year-old Vangelis Yakoumakis, the young student at the University of Ioannina who was found dead and abused four years ago, while his case file is filled with harrowing stories that unfolded under the nose of the university dean?
Isn’t it true that Parliament is discredited when the mobility of MPs who for days bargain, resign or don’t resign, who are ejected or not ejected from their parties, serves only the (controversial) political survival of the government, individuals or parliamentary groups?
These extensions increase the burden on the non-vindicated in an exhausted society. No one wants to see the guilty move around freely or the nation’s representatives mocked amid the general hilarity. Both situations render the country’s institutions at the mercy of demagogues, opportunists and petty partisan peddlers.
This is because politicians come and go. The damage to the country’s institutions lasts longer and is harder to reverse. It is important for justice to be meted out and for trials not to be deferred indefinitely. The examples have piled up during Greece’s eight-year crisis: the trial of Golden Dawn that has dragged on, that of those responsible for the deaths at Marfin Bank and the list goes on. The burden created by this impunity is hard to carry and ominous.
Meanwhile, on the political stage, every day that passes, time is working against the protagonists. Their struggle for survival is as clear as the sweat that ruins well-applied makeup, revealing the real face underneath.
At the end of the day, procrastinations and extensions don’t help anyone, not even those who come up with them, hoping to win some time. Because that time is anything but gained.
All it leads to is more intense exchanges, more mistakes, leaving the victims without vindication and the politicians exposed in their shady dealings. It also encourages those who believe that anything goes in the judicial and political arenas. Postponements and extensions simply aggravate the discrediting of public life.