Thursday September 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Consequences of the Papaconstantinou affair

By Angelos Stangos

There are many who are still in shock over the revelation that former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou may have tampered with a list bearing the names of Greek depositors at a Swiss branch of HSBC. These are mostly citizens who believed in and defended Greece’s place in Europe throughout the course of the crisis. It is people who resisted being swept up in the wave of populism because they knew that it is of paramount significance that Greece remains in the common currency area.

Beyond the economic advantages – and these are very important – it is only by remaining in the eurozone that Greece can hope to bring about the necessary structural reforms and survive until Europe’s unification is complete.

These people cannot believe that a finance minister would ever contemplate doing what Papaconstantinou is being accused of. In his defense, Greece’s former finance chief claims that he has been set up and that he had no part in erasing the names of his relatives from the list. And of course, he remains innocent until proven guilty, even though the evidence weighs heavily against him. The first reason why things are not looking good for Papaconstantinou is that he testified before Parliament that he had lost the original copy of the list. Secondly, he did not submit the names of the relatives concerned to a probe into the provenance of his and his family’s wealth. And thirdly, he did not react when the list was published without the contentious names after being leaked to a journalist.

Objectively, the Papaconstantinou isssue should not be associated with Greece’s efforts to meet creditor demands for austerity and reforms. However, the fact is that this affair has dealt a very heavy blow to the political system and particularly to its pro-European forces. The parties of the tripartite coalition, and especially PASOK, are presenting the case as being about one individual’s decisions and actions and are hoping that if it is seen as such, the damage can be contained. Whether this will be the case remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the opposition is using the case to harm the coalition as much as possible.

The damage done by the Papaconstantinou affair is not just restricted to Greece, but has international repercussions at a time when Greece is striving to restore its good name.

As far as Papaconstantinou himself is concerned, its appears very much as though his career is over. It is not just the baseness of the act that he has been accused of that blackens his name, but also the fact that he opened himself up to attack from the political system, which swept down on him and then tried to use him as a scapegoat to hide behind. Of course, he may still be able to present irrefutable evidence that he is the victim of a plot, and if that happens then all hell will break loose.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 1, 2013 (20:55)  
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Greek society’s and lenders’ fatigue
Legitimacy control
Loud patriotism
Police, protesters clash during rally to mark Fyssas killing
Greek police fired teargas at protesters who hurled petrol bombs and stones in Athens on Thursday during a rally marking one year since the killing of an anti-fascism rapper by a far-right G...
Prescription limit to rein in EOPYY spending
In a bid to rein in its expenses, the country’s largest healthcare provider, EOPYY, is to announce a limit in the coming days on the number and type of diagnostic tests that doctors affiliat...
Inside News
Hardouvelis asks for some room to breathe
Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis requested that the country be given some room to breathe in the fiscal adjustment process, while speaking at a ceremony in Athens for the signing of loan c...
Athens could miss out on last bailout installment
The European bailout program for Greece will conclude at the end of this year, even if the last tranche is not disbursed, the head of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), Klaus ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
SOCCER
Mitroglou rediscovers scoring touch after Fulham let-down
Costas Mitroglou banished the memories of his disappointing spell in England after breaking a 10-month goal drought as Olympiakos Piraeus secured a thrilling 3-2 Champions League win over At...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Hardouvelis asks for some room to breathe
2. Athens could miss out on last bailout installment
3. Police, protesters clash during rally to mark Fyssas killing
4. Prescription limit to rein in EOPYY spending
5. Prosecutor says six guilty in trial of terror group
6. Minister vows to proceed with civil servant evaluation after court ruling
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA ahead of ND, new opinion poll shows
2. Extradited Greek couple to face magistrate in Athens
3. National Bank of Greece said to pick advisers for Turkish sale
4. Unemployment at 26.6 percent in second quarter of 2014
5. Man's charred remains retrieved from vehicle following accident
6. Bank of Cyprus sells UK loan portfolio
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Avramopoulos appointed Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
5. Lost in the fog
6. EU bank tests may miss trillion dollar risk, study finds
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.