OPINION

Editorial

Vasso Papandreou’s immediate acceptance of the resignations of the members of the board of Ktimatologio SA – the state-run company which is handling the land register project – was not the first case where the new environment, planning and public works minister appeared to be completely at odds with the decisions of her predecessor. What was, in effect, a removal of the company board followed Papandreou’s announcement that the ministry will re-examine building regulations and land use in the Mesogeia area and the overall criticism of Costas Laliotis’s performance concerning Olympics-related projects, where the new minister discerned serious delays and inability to complete several of the original plans. According to sources, Papandreou intends to re-examine recent legislation granting permission to transfer building coefficients from one area to another. Besides other substantial changes, it seems that Papandreou aims to replace the majority of the officials that her predecessor had entrusted with crucial posts and the promotion of major projects. Attempts have been made to present these actions in a softer light. Yesterday, for example, the acceptance of the resignations took place in the presence of Laliotis himself so as to dispel the impression of conflict while the official explanation was that they were necessary because – despite the confidence placed in them by the government and its rejection of all accusations leveled against them – the board members are facing prosecution. At the same time, the government will present their replacement to the European Commission as a sign that the land register project is being restructured. These excuses are, of course, no more than pretexts. Regardless of Laliotis and the attempt to make an impression on the EU, the fact is that Papandreou is reviewing all of Laliotis’s major decisions. It seems that Papandreou is taking into account her party conflict with Laliotis but also the fact that his basic ministerial policies are so flawed that she will have to shoulder the burden of a potential failure or lack of transparency. The prime minister himself should have diagnosed and corrected this problem long ago, rather than rewarding Laliotis with an exit from the government through what was portrayed as a political promotion.