OPINION

Heroes of politics

So everything’s OK – back on track both at home and abroad. The only jarring note are a few evil conspirators who hurl stones at the leader and his great movement. They have opportunistically «unearthed» stock market scandals and the luxurious and immoderate lives of senior politicians. They dare to publish opinion polls and, worst of all, have discovered a black hole in public finances – these blind, worthless scaremongers. The prime minister shouts that they want to topple the government, that they are plotting against the Socialist party, seeking a share of power – urged on by the praetorian guard and prompters behind the scenes. But you know nothing of this; none of this means anything to you. You have no clue about entangled interests, rigged competitions or illicit exchange. As if it takes a conspiracy to reveal the stock market orgies, the plunder of the public’s money or the fabulous riches of the peers and partners who have shied away from the public eye on the hills of the city’s northern suburbs. What do you say to that? It needs no conspiracy to compare how the ruling Socialist cadres once lived and how they live now, see how much they spend on their pre-election campaigns and how much they spend in their private lives. It needs no conspiracy to see the manipulation of the formulas used to award public tenders or the unwarranted ties with business interests. But that’s the way things are: Monitoring, criticism, even democracy itself is too tough a game for those professional power-holders. Everything irks them. First, they were annoyed by the opinion poll because they said it was conducted by an unknown firm. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say when the next surveys give a similar outlook. As for fiscal management, the premier should ask his friend at the Health Ministry about the size of hospital debts, whether the farmer’s pension fund (OGA) is paying medical expenses and about the status of social policy in general. He should ask junior Finance Minister Giorgos Floridis and Greek Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis about fiscal economy forecasts for 2005 and how much will need to be repaid in state bonds that will mature a year after the 2004 Olympics. But this is the work of enemies and conspirators – of evil people who want to harm the government. You are not affected by all this, you heroes of politics, with your big brothers in business and the media. «Well done» to all of you.