Political responsibility

Of course, blame should be attributed where appropriate in the case of last Saturday’s helicopter crash in the northern Aegean which killed 17 people, including the Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria. It is quite right of the opposition to demand that the government do its job properly and reveal all in an extremely significant matter concerning state administration. But when it comes to the allocation of «political responsibilities,» PASOK should be somewhat more careful in addressing the government. After all, its own government had hardly been sensitive when it came to attributing political responsibilities. Even in fatal disasters on a much larger scale than the one currently under investigation, top politicians at the time categorically refused opposition calls to step down. In view of this, aggressive statements by former ministers in reaction to Saturday’s fatal crash appear to be something of a joke. It is all very well to ask probing questions – a political «assessment» of the matter by the opposition is only to be expected – but scathing criticism is less justifiable. Even traditional supporters of PASOK are unlikely to be convinced by such an aggressive stance. Besides, most Greeks have still not forgotten the Samina ferry sinking of 2000 (in which 81 people died) – a disaster which then Prime Minister Costas Simitis attributed to the general state of affairs in Greece, refusing to lay political blame…

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