OPINION

‘Should have been careful’

“PASOK is deeply concerned about the motives, origins, and the instigators of the latest revelations of illegal gambling on the stock exchange by some of its cadres,» according to every newspaper over the past few days. The leaders of the ruling party do not care if the accusations are founded in fact, or whether those concerned are guilty. All they care about is whether the revelations arose in the conflict between the owners of Alter television, whether they are part of PASOK’s backstabbing among comrades, whether they are aimed at spoiling the good impression made at last week’s European Union summit and Accession Treaty signing, or whether the aim was to induce Prime Minister Costas Simitis to resign, and so on. This attempt to «transcend» the real problem shows more than anything else how thick-skinned PASOK has become politically, obviously because of its long-term exercise of power. This loss of touch with reality is evident from the sense that the government does not feel itself to be accountable and their conviction that ordinary people have no judgment or memory. Accordingly, the major stock exchange scandal only has victims. It does not matter that millions of small investors played and lost, that the government had not secured rules of fair play, or if ministers, parliamentary deputies and cadres appear to have been involved in illegal tricks that made them rich but trapped small investors. The losers «should have been careful,» Simitis said a few months ago. What interpretation should one put on that statement? The simplest one is that ordinary people should no longer demand justice, protection or ethos from their rulers. Instead, they should be «careful» of them, and protect themselves from their tricks and deceits. What could be worse?