NEWS

FM sees no reason for early elections, praises Karamanlis for leadership

Recently an endless wave of scandals has overshadowed everything else on the domestic political scene. Do you think politicians are partly to blame for their handling of the matter? Corruption can appear at anytime. What I think is important is the government’s response. That is a positive element in the whole story. The mechanisms to protect the public, the structures and services protecting their interests functioned effectively. That is why it is the first time, at least in my recollection, that those mechanisms brought results. Some people went before the prosecutor and justice will be done, as it must be in a state ruled by law. There was no attempt at a cover-up. The basic principle of the government was followed completely: No tolerance of corruption. That alone is positive. But I would like to add another dimension. The greatest nightmare for a politician is to discover at some point that somebody, whether in their circle or a colleague, has not lived up to the trust you have placed in them. You are afraid that with a large number of people that you have to choose and trust, you may have made a mistake. You are responsible for that mistake, of course; there’s no doubt about that. But I think it’s unfair to go a step further and completely flatten a politician for a single specific instance. But the opposition insists there’s been a cover-up. At the moment the opposition is trying to find its way, and is trying to find a tone and character for its political discourse. It is seeking an arena for political confrontation. It obviously has no compass and no clear direction. Do you think the government will complete its four-year term? Yes, I see absolutely no reason for early elections. The government has a mandate to rule. It has the confidence of Greek society, as all the polls show, and a popular mandate to continue its work. The government has a strong, effective prime minister, a remarkable politician who has the overwhelming trust and acceptance of the community and is determined to make changes. Recently many have spoken of a climate of cohesion, understanding and even mutual support within the government. My experience from the government committee I have been on for the past eight months is that the climate among the ministers of Karamanlis’s government is exceptional. There is very good cooperation, a shared will and productive action to promote the government’s work. Apart from that, I think it is always important for a government to have the greatest possible degree of solidarity.