OPINION

Unacceptable statement

Former Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis allegedly «conned ELAS (Greek Police) officers» with lies. Moreover, «despite his very long term in the ministry,» the former minister’s performance at the institutional level is «in inverse proportion to his tenure.» Finally, Chrysochoidis is said to have «exploited for his own personal gain… the police officers’ achievements and to have created a climate of civil war inside the force, as he lacked the political courage» to resolve the various conflicts of interest. All this was declared in a statement by the Panhellenic Federation of Police Officers; a statement in which the police unionists – that is, active ELAS officers – evaluated, judged and deplored their former political chief. What is more, the announcement issued an indirect warning to the new minister, Giorgos Floridis, although it added that «they will support his efforts.» As if the ELAS officers can choose whether to back the public order minister of the time! The police officers’ demands are no doubt legitimate. But it is unacceptable that they chose to sign and be represented by such a statement. The union rights that were granted to the police by previous PASOK administrations, and above all the manner in which they are exercised, must be in harmony with discipline, a high sense of responsibility, political neutrality and the ethos that their office mandates. The union leaders obviously abused their constitutional right. The statement did more to harm than to express the views of ELAS officers. As for the cadres of New Democracy who rushed to hail the content and tone of the document, they should have known better. Such behavior does not lend itself to political exploitation. Rather, it is a cause for concern, if not alarm.