OPINION

Conspiracy theories

Keeping an independent outlook is no easy task in this country. It’s difficult to say, «Simitis is right in saying that we must do everything to join the eurozone,» or that he is right to push for Cyprus’s EU accession, or right to call for more economic deregulation without being challenged with the familiar objection: «Why is Kathimerini saying all that? It must have some interest in doing so.» But apparently, it is even harder for the person whose efforts you used to back, when you had no prior interest in doing so, to keep this in mind when, one day, you sound the alarm, telling him that «something really bad is happening» – and you actually point it out. It’s hard for him to think that the one now criticizing him, his former selfless supporter, could still be acting without any personal motive. It is far easier for him to suspect that the criticism is due to ulterior motives. But no. Things are actually even worse than that. And it’s no mistake. The prime minister – who invokes business conspiracies rather than acknowledge that something is rotten in his kingdom – and those who are trying to implicate Kathimerini in this purported plot, are not doing so by mistake. They know they’re lying. And they do so unblushingly, believing that they will thereby fool the world, that they will intimidate and discredit their critics and spare themselves from having to respond to the allegations of scandal coming to light. But the world is laughing – because the world can see. People can see the corruption. They see the political and business entanglements. They see that the economy is plummeting, that the bourse has lost its credibility, that the stock market giants proved to be nothing but midgets, that the political elite has lost its dynamism and its sense of direction. They see that EU structural funds are being wasted, that deficits are swelling, that real income is kept stagnant. They see that a day after a flurry of conspiracy allegations, a merger between the State and the Latsis group is being announced. The arrogance of power is a big thing – money is an invincible temptation. «Make no comment,» one of our readers suggested. «Just publish the premier’s remarks; that will do.» That may be so. But Simitis’s remarks are dangerous because the country expects the premier to do what he has done so often in the past, to try to clean up the body politic – not for him tolerate entanglement and corruption, sweeping the dust under a rug of conspiracy theories.