OPINION

‘Do you know who I am?’

?nly those who were there know how the scene played out: former Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris, his daughter and the members of the Dias police squad. Even so, they will not have experienced it the same way on an emotional level nor seen it from the same perspective. Memory will also play its part when the scene is recalled, depending on who it?s being described to (in formal testimony or among friends).

Inevitably the narrator will take on a self-justifying tone and see him or herself as something of a wordsmith, managing the memory rather than reciting its exact recording, without being influenced by emotion and design, reproducing the moment as it happened, without bias.

So, back to the incident. One thing they all agree on is that Koulouris drove through four red lights at 11 o?clock on a Saturday night, at a time when people are out on the streets of the city. He never said whether he had any particular reason to be in such a hurry, whether he was racing to a hospital or an emergency phone call from one of his PASOK colleagues, Finance Minister Eleftherios Venizelos or Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis. We can just imagine what was going through his head: ?Oh, come on, who?s looking??

But the fact is that there are laws against this sort of thing that should be adhered to, especially when we think that no one?s looking. And a former deputy minister ought to know better than most that it is laws such as these that ensure that societies are not transformed into jungles and that we must respect them always, not just on occasion.

We can also imagine what the former minister thought, and probably said, when he was stopped by the policemen: ?Do you know who I am?? Almost everyone in Greece has said this at one point or another, so it is highly unlikely that a once influential politician will not pull the same stunt. It probably didn?t even cross his mind that policemen are no longer required to recognize him.

Koulouris is not part of some minority. Like most Greek drivers, he is aggressive and egotistical. However, one suspects that, unlike most Greeks, he feels certain that laws apply to others and not to him, and that policemen have no business interfering with big shots like himself.

When an anonymous someone says ?Do you know who I am?? it is a defensive statement made out of fear, because that person knows deep down inside that he?s not someone special. When it comes from the lips of a politician though, it is a cold threat, aggressive and vengeful.