OPINION

Until when?

Both during the election campaign and after coming to power, the government has always maintained its intention to stamp out corruption. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has often referred to the phenomenon of entangled interests, the mechanisms of control over the decision-making process, the system of sharing out the Greek people’s resources, a phenomenon that has held this beleaguered country hostage for decades. Karamanlis has clearly described the business interests as comprising power centers that directly influence the political system to their own benefit, securing commissions and public works in the most outrageous fashion. Karamanlis and members of his government have accused specific people of being national suppliers and national contractors. One does not have to try hard to realize who they are. This is clear from the countless privileged contracts these people have signed over the years, the number of projects they have undertaken and the positions they have assumed in the media, which they use to blackmail, or more simply put, to influence politics. Their activities have proved extremely harmful. The Greek people have had to bear a major burden in the recent past; they have paid dearly for the roads, the bridges, the tunnels and the useless weapons that have filled the generals’ arsenals. Seven months after the elections won by New Democracy, these same people are continuing to act in the very same manner. They are exercising their influence by means of the media which they control, seeking a cover for their illegal activities by circumventing the Constitution and the laws of the state, seeking privileged terms for commissions and contracts and persisting with the same methods in an attempt to control the new government. Moreover, they raise a hue and cry like a thief trying to frighten a homeowner. But it is clear that this situation cannot continue. So far, the government’s reaction has taken the form of rhetoric; it has done nothing in practice. There have even been cases in which the privileged treatment of certain circles has continued in the most scandalous fashion, as in the sector of public works, where both small and medium-sized contracting firms have been deprived while the larger, well-known firms secure new opportunities for expansion. One wonders how long this can continue. We ask the prime minister: How long will these devourers of public money continue to enjoy their privileges and special treatment?