Thursday October 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
16o 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)  
Truth before the battle
Bending the rules
Next-day jitters
No sweet debt deals
Terror group link prompts police raids and arrests
Police found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a handgun, a hand grenade and numerous bullets Wednesday while searching homes in Athens and Thessaloniki used by six people who were detained and a...
Samaras to seek confidence vote in bid to rally coalition
The government said on Wednesday that it will request a vote of confidence when Parliament reconvenes after the summer recess next week, seeking to douse speculation about early elections an...
Inside News
Attica Bank said to have rejected notable offers
Attica Bank has turned down buyout proposals from strong institutional portfolios and investors in recent months, setting the maintenance of the present share and administrative structure of...
PMI index slides anew in September
Greece’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell last month to its lowest point this year, hitting 48.4 points – below the zero-change point of 50 points – according to Markit, which compiles t...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Rosenberg punishes Olympiakos´s errors at Malmoe
A disappointing Olympiakos got the worst possible result from its clash with Malmoe in Sweden for the Champions League, going down 2-0 on Wednesday due to its own defensive errors and attack...
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Rosenberg punishes Olympiakos´s errors at Malmoe
2. Terror group link prompts police raids and arrests
3. Samaras to seek confidence vote in bid to rally coalition
4. Attica Bank said to have rejected notable offers
5. PMI index slides anew in September
6. Costa Navarino to host big events
more news
Today
This Week
1. Air-raid sirens to go off all over Greece at 11 a.m. in drill
2. Mario Draghi to push ECB to buy Greek, Cypriot 'junk' loans: FT
3. Truth before the battle
4. Smallpox decimates sheep stocks in northern Greece
5. Thessaloniki transport gets more expensive
6. Bending the rules
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.