Much like its predecessors, Greece’s leftist-led administration appears oblivious to the significance of European Union rules. Ruling officials would rather sacrifice the country’s credibility – or rather what’s left of it – than shoulder the political cost of necessary structural change.
True to this tradition, Agriculture Minister Vangelis Apostolou does not hesitate to use legalistic tricks in order to spare thousands of Greek farmers from having to return illicit funds they received six years ago. The so-called Hatzigakis package, named after then agriculture minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, has been found to be noncompliant with EU legislation and deemed to constitute state subsidies.
The minister’s main argument now is that responsibility for the decision does not lie with the current administration, but with a previous one. His stance runs against the principle of state continuity. Few are willing to learn from the country’s woes, it seems.