OPINION

National interest

Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday briefed President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos on domestic and foreign policy issues. Leaving the Presidential Palace, the premier said that he is off to tour the capitals of the seven new European Union members, stressing that his visits present us with «an opportunity to promote Greece [abroad].» Simitis added that «some might want to change the agenda… but the mandate we have been given by the Greek people is to promote our country and it is this mandate that we will carry out.» The premier’s remarks were, perhaps, an attempt to attack those who insist on criticizing the untoward connections between government officials and newly minted businessmen and who, effectively, criticize the government’s performance on foreign policy matters. Kathimerini has often praised Simitis’s efforts in the sphere of foreign policy and backed the government’s policy on Greek-Cypriot relations and the Cyprus dispute after the Helsinki summit. We supported the premier’s foreign policy decisions even during times that these were under fire by the very socialists in power. This is something that Simitis himself has repeatedly acknowledged. Furthermore, Kathimerini has refrained from criticizing the excessive promotion sought and actually enjoyed by the administration while at the helm of the EU, as it wanted to keep foreign policy issues separate from internal political considerations. Our line has been conscious and free from any ulterior objectives and prejudices – always driven by a will to serve the national interest. This is what also dictates our present line and our coverage of the current political malaise which is a product of widespread corruption, of political and business entanglement and of the corrosion of the country’s economic and social system. Kathimerini deems that systematic violations to the benefit of a small minority is a paramount national issue. Similarly, the undermining of free market principles for the sake of a small group of business allies is also a major problem. Kathimerini places emphasis on Greece’s safeguarding its national funds and their proper investment. It is crucial that the wealth of this troubled country bolster the progress of the economy and society instead of becoming the prime focus of antagonism between various centers of political and economic entanglement. Anything else is of no interest to Kathimerini.