OPINION

Pantayias crashes

Though we all assumed as much, Giorgos Pantayias made sure to clarify it in person: «I grew up and still live in Piraeus, and I identify with the anxieties, the needs and the problems of the depressed areas of Piraeus’s second district… Throughout my political career, I have done my best to serve the residents and the place where I grew up and still live. I did not choose politics in order to fulfill any aspirations or vanity… I did not choose [politics] as a means of making money and social climbing. These are the characteristics of those… who view politics as a loose woman who draws men like flies… Politics means [making] interventions across an entire spectrum of social activity, [making] political, educational and cultural interventions that benefit a depressed area like Piraeus’s second district.» The above excerpts from Pantayias’s memo to the PM informing him of his resignation as press aide brought something new to light: Popular singer Giorgos Dalaras obviously lives in Piraeus. Pantayias’s request to the financial crimes squad (SDOE) that they ease Dalaras’s tax burden was nothing but a «conscious intervention in the spontaneous processes of actuality» in favor of the resident of a depressed area. Dalaras may have moved to a new neighborhood but if he still organizes concerts in Piraeus, then Pantayias’s act is justified as a «cultural intervention that benefits a depressed area.» Pantayias went even further. He not only stresses the self-denial of the aide who perceives political power not as a «loose woman» but as identifying oneself with the poor. He also praised the man who received the aide’s advice. In his letter to the prime minister, Pantayias said that «Costas Simitis is a new continent in the country’s political life. He is a high-caliber politician. This is not the time to list his great achievements… Costas Simitis is a breath of hope.» Yet, amid his concerns for the people, Pantayias found time to introduce a new writing style. If Caesar talked about himself in the third person, Pantayias breaks new ground by praising, in the third person, the man he is addressing. He praises him with Doric sparseness in style and characterizations. As Pantayias would say, «This is not the time to list» all the great turns of phrase contained in his letter. Besides, there is no need to. It’s a pity he did not read the letter out loud to a student audience. For once, one would not criticize our youth’s penchant for launching missiles of food.