Irresponsible authority

Irresponsible authority

The murder of American biologist Suzanne Eaton on Crete is not your run-of-the-mill case. It will not be considered closed once the guilty party is put away. This case will register in the memory and history of the place where it happened.

Cases like this define and influence behaviors and shape minds. 

There was a flood of reactions to the incident, which was widely reported.

Recently, Angela Kastrinaki, an author and professor at the University of Crete, spoke at a graduation ceremony at the university’s Philosophy School and seized the opportunity to address the new graduates and their families. 

Not only did she express her “shock” and “condemnation” in response to the “terrible incident,” but pointed to the need to re-evaluate certain mind-sets. 

“We are obliged to explore all of our own behaviors, the way we raise our children, especially boys, the way we react to lawlessness, to the use of weapons, to violence and gender violence. More specifically, violence against women,” she said, among other things. 

It’s not just Kastrinaki’s decisiveness and sensitivity that merits attention. It is the space (the university) and the moment (the graduation ceremony). 

It is important because it is tangible proof that “the university is not an enclosed space where teachers convey knowledge and skills to students.” Politics is not an enclosed space either. On the contrary.

Simple condemnations are not enough when one considers that in the recent past: Politicians – elected lawmakers – provided cover to the village of Zoniana on Crete and tolerated its lawlessness; they have also gotten involved in situations to protect guilty people – like in the case of the young man who was forced to take his own life in Ioannina; they have turned a blind eye to extensive gun possession, do not intervene to put an end to alcoholism, on account of its supposed “machismo,” to violence, arbitrariness and blatant law violations.

And when the time comes for them to be held accountable for their actions or their omissions, they hide behind their parliamentary immunity.

Lawmakers elected in Crete have an increased responsibility.

Society cannot be modernized when impunity is rife and MPs turn a blind eye. Neither is modernization conceivable when there is too much of a buddy-buddy mentality which only serves clientelist relationships.

This code of silence and cover-ups is a scourge and a serious obstacle, as is political silence and indifference.

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