OPINION

Washing one’s hands

When the mayor of a town troubled by flooding is also a member of the political opposition, things are pretty simple: He simply finds the closest television camera and launches a tirade against the incompetency of the government. He himself is not at all to blame, of course, not responsible for any oversights… If Pontius Pilate needed just a small jug of water to wash his hands, imagine how easy it is for modern-day Pilates with all these downpours. Things are rather more difficult when local governors are members of the ruling party, as are both the mayor and prefect of Thessaloniki. For the second time this year, the northern city has been beset by floods (before the results of a legal probe into September’s floods have been made public). In this case, it would hardly be wise for the mayor and prefect to publicly condemn the government; they would merely be denouncing themselves. And indeed, Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis made a brief statement about the government following the floods, babbling pompously about «matters of national concern» but keeping tight-lipped when it came to addressing specific issues. To complete the picture, the city’s deputy mayor was shown attempting to unblock a drain. It is difficult to accept that the state is responsible for Salonica’s blocked drains… If the city’s «notables» neglected to do the obvious – unblock the drains – the central government can hardly be held responsible…