President slams lack of morals in politics

Hosting a much more modest ceremony to mark the 35th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece, President Karolos Papoulias urged politicians to think about «what kind of world we want to pass on to our children» after stating that the country’s moral code had been shattered. Speaking to an audience that included Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and PASOK leader George Papandreou, whose parties have this week been exchanging insults about their stance on Papoulias’s possible re-election, the president painted a somber picture of the effect that politicians’ behavior was having on society. «The crisis is deep, not only because some politicians use politics as a springboard to a comfortable existence… but because our code of values has been compromised,» he said. «All kinds of favoritism and clientelism have been morally legalized. «We need to redefine the rules of what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust, what unites personal with common interest,» the president added. Papoulias dispensed this year with the usual pomp and circumstance of the annual celebration of the fall of the military junta, as he believed that it would act as a provocation to people suffering the effects of the economic crisis. Instead of food and wine, those on the pared down guest list were only served lemonade and sour cherry juice. Papoulias refused to speculate on whether he would still be president next year. «There is only one subject at hand today: the restoration of democracy… punkt [full stop], as the Germans say,» he told a group of invited guests who questioned him about PASOK’s apparent intention not to vote for Papoulias next March in order to force general elections.