OPINION

Legal obligations?

So why should the ordinary citizen be obliged to respect the law and to operate within a prescribed legal framework? What right has the State to demand law-abiding behavior from citizens – and to impose penalties on them when they «stray» – when it often takes advantage of its privileged knowledge of the law and its loopholes to violate legal provisions «when circumstances demand it»? What sort of example are our leaders giving us when, on the one hand, they approve the law on «incompatibility» in the revised Constitution, and on the other (with an impressive cross-party majority, and for purely sectional interests) they vote against a law they had previously approved to ensure that the Constitution is enforced? How can these ostensible guardians of legality and order convince society to respect laws and institutions when they not only effectively cancel out their own decisions regarding enforcement of the Constitution, but refuse to respect the Constitution in its entirety, hiding behind technical details in Parliament’s rules of order (an expediency which Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis has been promising to tackle for years)? An unacceptable tactic – which has practically become a tradition in Parliament – is the persistent refusal by deputies to lift the right to asylum from legal procedures enjoyed by their colleagues – even in situations where the law has been blatantly broken.