Friday May 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The power syndrome

By Alexis Papachelas

I have come across the following phenomenon enough times to know it’s no coincidence: Once someone you know enters politics they become unrecognizable. It’s as if their brain starts functioning differently as soon as they enter the political arena. There are numerous examples of this. In one case, private sector professionals hailed the appointment to a key administrative post in the public sector of an individual who was known as a successful businessman. “He understands how the market operates; he will bring results,” they said. They couldn’t have been more wrong. This particular individual stopped meeting with private sector representatives out of fear of being accused of bowing to pressure from them and forgot his real-world experiences only to be swept away by a system of unionists, priests, mayors and political cronies that transformed him into something quite different.

Another example is that of a decent and serious academic who agreed with everyone – particularly with those who criticized him. As soon as he entered politics and the election race he turned into a caricature. It’s not that he sold his soul to the political devil the way people do when they become obsessed with getting elected. In this case he appeared to have lost the ability to see the difference between right and wrong. Is the allure of corruption and power so strong? Is there no other way for these people to survive? Or is it the air that people breath in Parliament and at ministries?

The truth is that those involved in politics begin to suffer from a syndrome that former PM Costas Simitis defined as the “expansion of consciousness.” In other words, the constant exposure to scheming and corruption makes them immune to it. They think that’s how political and public life ought to be conducted and so behave just like everyone else.

Could the system of power ever change so as to attract capable people who will maintain their standards and ethics? It’ a tough question to answer. Greek politicians do everything in their power to keep control of policy and the public administration. They lower public sector salaries and then wonder why qualified people would never work for this kind of money. They appoint qualified people to responsible positions and then demand that they spend their time expediting political favors instead of solving problems. Making it illegal for MPs to hold ministerial posts may be one solution to the problem. Surely a person who is not anxious to be elected would prove a better minister.

Meanwhile, the mystery of the effect of politics persists and I’m eager to see whether the number of capable people who are not changed by the system will ever be more than a few dozen.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday Jul 13, 2014 (16:12)  
FIFA and fair play
Greece´s Cuban pathway to a parallel currency
Endless confusion and worry
Following up on a positive step
PM speaks to Merkel, Hollande as lenders increase pressure
With negotiations between Greece and its creditors at a critical phase, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday sought the assistance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Presiden...
To Potami and PASOK poised to support deal
To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis said Thursday that his party would back any agreement between the government and the institutions, while PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos suggested that P...
Inside News
Hoteliers seek VAT solutions
The Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) is trying to help Greek hoteliers overcome the impasse they have come to with foreign tour operators regarding the signing of contracts...
Chaos in the system for tax declarations
Few taxpayers or even accountants have any idea of what is going on with tax declarations this year, as poor handling by the General Secretariat for Public Revenues, confusion in the Finance...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos conquers PAOK through Tavlaridis goal
A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of thr...
SOCCER
AEK Athens returns to top league after financial collapse
Greek club AEK Athens has just returned to the country's top soccer league, two years after financial collapse sent it to a lower league. One of the country's largest clubs, AEK sealed its s...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Hoteliers seek VAT solutions
2. Chaos in the system for tax declarations
3. Lenders’ first-quarter data suffer from NPL expansion
4. Regional airport concession deal ‘to be sealed soon’
5. PM speaks to Merkel, Hollande as lenders increase pressure
6. To Potami and PASOK poised to support deal
more news
Today
This Week
1. Endless confusion and worry
2. G-7 weighs in on Greece as Tsipras government told to be serious
3. ECB's Nowotny says no to loosening funding for Greece now
4. Lagarde says still much work to do in Greek debt talks
5. Greek bank losses show predicament amid record outflows
6. Following up on a positive step
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
3. Some 300 mln left banks on Tuesday
4. No more 'quick and dirty' fixes for Greece
5. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
6. Romantic notions meet reality
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.