An apology means nothing under the law, Panagiotis Pikrammenos said in a statement on Thursday. The mere mention of his name in the Novartis file 14 months ago was a premature yet pretty clear sign of what the affair’s real objectives were.
Commenting after being cleared of accusations of bribery, the former Council of State president reminded us that it takes more than the letter of the law to make a democracy work. It also takes an institutional culture.
Anyone who doesn’t know what this means should just look at Pikrammenos and the stance he’s maintained. It is evident in the dignity with which he has faced his accusers, even after he was so triumphantly cleared.
After a decade of blows to its economy and its institutions, Greece needs to aspire to such a paradigm once more.