OPINION

Principles

The forced resignations of State Minister Stefanos Manikas from the Cabinet and of Michalis Neonakis from PASOK’s Executive Bureau caused tribulation within the ruling party, but also prompted remarks which show that politicians and journalists have a poor grasp of the functioning of democratic institutions. Moreover, this was not the first time. When the two close aides of Prime Minister Costas Simitis were accused of unwarranted stock market trade two months ago, the same people were keen to spread rumors. When it comes to issues of political and business entanglement and corruption, Kathimerini always sticks to one basic principle. We believe that the immediate, in-depth and credible examination of an allegation is the only means to promote transparency in politics and to restore the people’s trust in the political system. Kathimerini maintained a similar stance during allegations against the two PASOK cadres, causing Simitis to attack the newspaper. Over the last couple of days, National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis has come under fire by the same people after he submitted a Capital Market Commission report to Parliament. He is accused of going it alone, of lacking political instinct and of possessing poor communication skills. There is nothing we can say about the first allegation and it may well be so. The remaining two, however, raise a broader issue. As is known, the probe was requested by the premier himself. Some people obviously took Simitis’s remarks as a maneuver aimed at taking the lid off the crisis and as rising to his potential responsibilities. When it comes to moral issues, Kathimerini makes no trial of intentions. We prefer to stick with the facts. And the real fact is that the Capital Market Commission, which is an independent body, conducted research and then submitted its official report. It is of no significance whether Christodoulakis realized the political repercussions of presenting the report. Nor are his motives. Institutionally speaking, the national economy minister did the right thing. Had he suppressed the controversial document, he would have committed a grave error. No doubt, the whole issue was a blow to the government and the prime minister personally. This is because just a few weeks ago Simitis decided to give the two men full political coverage, and not because he eventually would force them to resign.