Saturday May 23, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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)  
Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
First aid for the capital
Response to May 15 comment
No more delays
Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
After a busy week of talks with European leaders aimed at securing support for a deal for Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces challenges on the home front amid tensions with SYRIZA o...
Police on standby after Roma dispute leaves one dead
Police in the western Athens district of Egaleo were on standby Saturday after a dispute between two Roma families left one person dead, another injured and two properties seriously damaged....
Inside News
Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
After the drachma clauses seen in tourism contracts, foreign tour operators are now forcing hoteliers in Greece to sign contracts with a Greek default clause. Foreign organizers of internati...
Listed firms have whisked away most of their cash reserves
Listed companies have felt compelled to whisk their cash reserves abroad as the liquidity shortage increases uncertainty among local entrepreneurs. Kathimerini has discovered that 85 percent...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greece escapes soccer suspension, FIFA happy with changes
FIFA says it is satisfied with changes made to sporting law in Greece, and has dropped a threat to suspend the country from international competition. In a letter to the government dated May...
SOCCER
Four-goal Panathinaikos thrashes Asteras away
Panathinaikos thrashed Asteras at Tripoli to gain an early advantage in the race for a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Super League play-offs got under way on Wedne...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
2. Police on standby after Roma dispute leaves one dead
3. Dog attacks seven people in Thessaloniki, including 13-year-old boy
4. Two children aged 4 removed from Roma camp after DNA tests
5. Ten suspects arrested over 2011 abduction
6. Eleven kilograms of heroin stopped from reaching Italy
more news
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Listed firms have whisked away most of their cash reserves
3. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
4. First aid for the capital
5. Response to May 15 comment
6. New civil service assessment scheme focuses on rewards instead of punishment
Today
This Week
1. The Greek-German breakthrough that didn’t come
2. Conspiracy madness
3. Greece came close to not paying IMF
4. National self-awareness put to the test
5. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
6. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.