Friday September 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Unwritten laws and injustice

By Nikos Konstandaras

When the inevitable happens and we see behind the curtains of our public life and state mechanisms, we are terrified by the abyss. We see that the weakening of state institutions undermines society and leads to barbarism and chaos. The revelation of subterranean ties between a close adviser to the prime minister and neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, and the murder of a murderer in prison, are only the most recent evidence of the tragic consequences when society tolerates the breaking of rules, when personal interests, feelings and improvisation overstep the limits.

Until two days ago, Panayiotis Baltakos was a member of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s inner circle. This position, and the office of cabinet secretary, ensured that Baltakos was a prominent figure in government policy. His role was decisive in several very important issues: the shutdown of state broadcaster ERT, his objections to the adoption of anti-racist legislation, the channel of communication with Golden Dawn. These may have angered New Democracy’s coalition partners but could be explained as being part of his mandate and his wish to promote a right-wing (or, to be precise, a far-right) political ideology. Where things went awry, though, was when he violated his superior’s trust in order to pursue his own interests. The illegally videotaped conversation between Baltakos and a senior member of Golden Dawn which was made public on Wednesday reveals a climate of chumminess and trust, at Samaras’s expense, while Baltakos’s comments that the prosecution of Golden Dawn was for purely political reasons undermines the government that he ought to have been serving. By breaking the rules, the cabinet secretary undermined his office and opened the door to disaster.

The beating that caused the death of a prisoner who had murdered a prison guard is the most primitive proof that “unwritten laws,” in addition to the negligence or absence of institutions and the violation of rules, lead to violence and injustice. Greek prisons and detention centers are a nightmare: They hold far more people than they are capable of, their infrastructure is unsuitable, guards are fewer than necessary and supervision is usually indifferent if not malevolent. Under such circumstances, the guards can protect neither themselves nor their prisoners. The unwritten law is that if any convict attacks a guard he will regret it. And so the vicious murder of a guard opened the way to merciless revenge, allegedly by other guards – as if we have not had centuries to learn the procedures for handling such incidents.

When we stand at the edge of the abyss, our only support is the fact that others stood there before us. They made mistakes, they learned from them, they established institutions and procedures to reduce the danger. And yet we keep ignoring civilization’s achievements and persist in repeating our mistakes. Now only the justice system can prove that Golden Dawn’s prosecution was justified. Justice, also, must impose order in our prisons and secure humane conditions for inmates and guards. Unwritten laws leave too much room for injustice to run loose.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 3, 2014 (21:44)  
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
Local lenders draw 5 bln for loans to SMEs
Greek banks drew liquidity of some 5 billion euros from the European Central Bank’s TLTRO program aimed at channeling funding to small and medium-sized enterprises in the first auction compl...
Tourism drives jobless rate down
The growth of tourism this year has had a clear impact on unemployment in Greece as the jobless rate announced on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) for the second quart...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
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...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
2. Local lenders draw 5 bln for loans to SMEs
3. Tourism drives jobless rate down
4. Hardouvelis asks for some room to breathe
5. Athens could miss out on last bailout installment
6. Police, protesters clash during rally to mark Fyssas killing
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. Man's charred remains retrieved from vehicle following accident
5. Unemployment at 26.6 percent in second quarter of 2014
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. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.