OPINION

Maybe it?s political after all

The crisis is opening doors and leading to dirty secrets being uncovered. It is also letting rotten smells into the air.

Not everything can be viewed under an unforgiving light. It is so revealing that some of the things we are discovering pass into the sphere of the absurd, hilarious or even repulsive. So much so that our senses have become blocked and find it difficult to filter the new information we are receiving.

For instance, how could anyone logically process the statement by Makis Psomiadis, the businessman and soccer club owner who was arrested this week on suspicion of being part of an extensive match-fixing ring, when he was taken to the prosecutor?

?I am a political prisoner,? he said. ?I have nothing to do with match fixing. This whole affair is a made-up story. I haven?t done anything. I am the victim of a web created by the system and the government.?

These were the words of Makis, or ?Big Mak? as he was known from his days as the owner of AEK in the early 1990s. He was a fugitive that no authorities would arrest and no jail could hold despite multiple convictions.

He was a man who would take on ministers but who was also hugged adoringly by leading politicians.

Maybe Big Mak, the owner of Kavala in northern Greece over the past few years, is right. After all, his career has had political undertones: from the fringes of the military dictatorship?s torture teams to the VIP seats at the country?s soccer stadiums next to politicians, business moguls and other personalities.

Once a newspaper publisher, darling of the media and soccer boss, Psomiadis knew the ins and outs of the legal system and the courts like no other. Greece put up with him, allowing him to act with impunity. No matter when or where he would come up against the state, Makis was always the winner, evading arrest and imprisonment.

So is it possible that his arrest by the police and the anti-terrorist squad in a rented house southeast of Athens on Thursday is a settling of scores, in other words a political persecution? In a sense, it is.

The state is attempting to punish a serious offender. The only problem is that it is trying to do so 30 years too late.