NEWS

Distorting old customs for new wealth

CRETE – It was the first time a police officer had made such a statement officially: «A politician whose name I know and we know sent a message to two colleagues of mine and asked them not to give evidence at the trial of K.V. (a cannabis grower from Zoniana). One colleague was promised that his wife would be appointed [to a public service position].» The members of the Rethymnon prefectural council heard the officer, as did the prosecutor who was present. Since, then, January 9, 2006, nobody has asked for further explanations, not even the prosecutor. Nor were explanations given last September, a month before the cannabis harvest. Only 650 seedlings were confiscated, compared with 13,000 the previous year and 120,000 the previous seven years, Why? Because of the elections. And the decision was obviously not taken by the residents of Zoniana. The electoral contest was particularly fierce between the candidates from the same groups. For instance, Olga Kefaloyianni was elected with just 39 votes more than Costis Schinias (both from New Democracy). And in Zoniana, with its 1,450 inhabitants, around 600 votes (the majority) went not only to one party but to one person. In keeping with tradition, Zoniana’s ballot box was handed over to Rethymnon a day late.