The hubris of a PASOK baron

The arrest of Akis Tsochatzopoulos on corruption charges Wednesday was an expected, if belated, response to popular demand for the rule of law to be upheld.

That said, we must look beyond the man and see what he stands for. The former defense minister was among the favorites to succeed the late Andreas Papandreou as PASOK chief (he lost to Costas Simitis). He also was one of the mightiest Socialist ministers for decades.

Unfortunately, Tsochatzopoulos?s public posturing was typical of the prevailing 1980s mentality that legitimized corruption in the name of ?political struggle? and the ?popular movement.? The Socialist veteran committed hubris by leading a provocative lifestyle.

But he was not alone. His wealth was obviously generated from a network that brought together ammunition suppliers, foreign firms, political parties and state authorities that provided him with precious political cover.

Hopefully, the investigation will cast ample light on the case and will mark the end of a political attitude that has cost Greece dearly.