The last delusion
If anyone still believed that this government comprised people with good intentions who were simply let down by naivety, resulting in their creating more problems than they solved, they must now be reckoning with the magnitude of their delusion.
The Novartis case displays the cynicism of people who do not care about the cost that their actions will have on public life.
The persistent attacks on political rivals, the expedient choice of targets, the abuse of state mechanisms and the coordinated propaganda war show that the campaign had specific aims.
Instead of carrying on with the theater that they are idealists who were caught unwittingly in the gears of reality (the “delusions” that Alexis Tsipras once acknowledged), the governing partners seem to be adopting the practices of a shadow state.
Without our going into the legal details of the Novartis case (as neither Tsipras nor leading members of his government did in Parliament on Wednesday) we can see through their methods.
The government’s speakers considered that a depiction of the chronic ills of the country’s health system was sufficient to justify whatever they do.
If, however, their priority was to end corruption and set the health system on a more stable footing, would they have invested so much political capital against specific rivals with the chief argument that someone ought to shoulder the political responsibility for whatever happened in previous decades?
If Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis’s claim is correct, that of the 260 billion euros spent on health between 1991 and 2010 some 85 billion was lost to corruption, why were 10 people singled out, their names sullied, on the basis of murky testimony and shaky procedures?
Is it possible that the general malaise is being used to “neutralize” people who were either tough rivals in the past or could be seen as credible opponents in the future, while current and potential government allies are spared?
Panayiotis Pikrammenos, a highly respected president of the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, who served as caretaker prime minister briefly in 2012, was forced to defend his honor in Parliament on Wednesday.
He seemed to speak for many of us when he said: “In the beginning I was surprised. Then I was overwhelmed by feelings of anger, exasperation and disappointment.”
When well-intentioned people feel this way, what can the government be thinking? Unless it believes that it will survive the poison that it spreads.
This would be one more delusion.