OPINION

The people’s avenger

We cannot be sure whether the «line» being followed by Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris during his near-daily appearances at the capital’s street markets has been imposed on him by his political superiors or whether it is the product of his own initiative. In any case, if the government thinks that this show will succeed in swaying the public to believe that it is fighting a ruthless and efficient battle against rising prices, it is deceiving itself. From a public relations point of view, the only thing Koulouris’s campaign has achieved is to create a new joke for the summer. Indeed, the image of the deputy minister in the role of a lively but easygoing, clued-up wise guy only provokes sarcastic comments and ridicule among the public whenever the matter of high prices is discussed. What the government – or perhaps just Koulouris himself? – regards as a fresh public relations strategy is actually seriously outdated (as well as being repellent). The image of a member of the government being pursued by crowds of television reporters as he initiates aggressive conversations with fruit and vegetable traders while making «expressive» gestures with his hands (after all, at heart he is a real «man of the people») does not suggest the existence of a serious policy for commerce. In any case, the deputy minister appears inspired by his role of ruthless avenger, spreading fear among the profiteers of Athens’s street markets…