Saturday November 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Pending answers

By Alexis Papachelas

A lot has been said about Greece’s three most recent elected premiers who, each in their own way, oversaw the nation’s path to bankruptcy. It is up to the historians of the future to evaluate their share of the blame for this financial crisis, but Costas Simitis, Costas Karamanlis and George Papandreou have kept quite diverse stands since leaving office.

Simitis warned about the impending bankruptcy and the IMF early on when no one really wanted to hear about it. His public interventions are always timely but they have little of substance to offer as he has never offered a concrete crisis exit plan. Most importantly, Simitis has not taken stock of his legacy, the huge stock market bubble and rampant corruption. Pressure on him to do so is mounting again following revelations about the German arms bribes. During his tenure, it was said that a degree of corruption is unavoidable at times of economic growth and Simitis himself urged anyone who had any evidence of corruption to “send it to the prosecutor.” But such excuses won’t do anymore.

Karamanlis has chosen to remain silent although he occasionally voices his opinion on developments through his close aides. Many questions still remain unanswered concerning his various appointments, his failure to impose his will at crucial moments, and his denial when faced with the impending fiscal derailment. He still owes us a response as to why he did not take harsh measures back in the fall of 2008, when it was already evident that the country was heading toward the rocks, and why he continued to spend until fall of the following year, in spite of warnings at home and abroad. Silence is not appropriate for a former PM. The burgeoning cost of the state sector and his loss of control over law and order demand some explanations.

As for Papandreou, he has failed to live up to his role since he left office. And he too need to answer some key questions. Why didn’t he help Karamanlis deal with the debt crisis in spring 2009? Why didn’t he follow up from the speech of his predecessor at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair instead of uttering his infamous “There is money” statement? Why didn’t he try to avoid the IMF and the memorandum by adopting immediate fiscal measures? And when did he decide that there was not alternative to IMF involvement? Did he really try to fend off pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel by making an alliance with Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and others or not?

People want answers. It is very easy for our former leaders to blame their fall, and the collapse of the country, on the deep PASOK, on invisible foreign powers or interests that can’t be named. But some degree of self-criticism would be far more useful and courageous.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday Jan 4, 2014 (14:00)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday appointed Nikos Dendias as defense minister, replacing outgoing Dimitris Avramopoulos, who assumes the European Commission’s immigration portfolio ne...
Turkish-Greek cooperation in Aegean helps stem flow of migrants
Closer cooperation between Greek and Turkish coast guard authorities has led to 11,000 undocumented migrants being prevented from entering Greek borders and returned to the neighboring count...
Inside News
Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
The reduction of Greek households’ disposable incomes in 2013 compared with 2012 amounted to a total of 14 billion euros, the biggest since the start of the crisis according to data released...
Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
Bank officials are expressing serious reservations about the efficiency of the government’s bill regarding nonperforming corporate loans, arguing that the target set by the Development Minis...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
Captain Vassilis Spanoulis helped Olympiakos narrowly avoid an upset on Friday as it defeated Euroleague debutant Neptunas Klaipeda 85-81 in overtime in Lithuania to preserve its perfect sta...
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
2. Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
3. Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
4. State debtor numbers grew in September
5. Reform plan among conditions
6. Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
more news
Today
This Week
1. Archaeologists find underground vault at Amphipolis tomb
2. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
3. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
4. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
5. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
6. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.