OPINION

Guilty sensitivity

Following the government’s presentation of a draft law intended to ensure transparency in public contracts, objections were to be expected from a certain group of people: that is, those who stand to lose out from the proposed reforms, the vested interests that fed on political and business entanglement. Their sharp reaction against any measure aimed at thwarting this phenomenon is easy to explain. Next to them, there is also another group that may fall short of being described as «entangled interests» but which might nevertheless have trouble adjusting to the new legal framework. As a result, they too reject the draft law, even if they admit that it would help clean up the sleaze-ridden system. Reaction from this side should come as no surprise. Anyone looking hard enough could see it coming. Still, why do so many people, who are at pains to assure the rest of us that they have nothing to lose or to fear, react with so much passion when we are only at the draft law stage? Why is it that all these people, who declare they have no interests at stake, have refrained from making sober observations or suggesting corrective adjustments on points they deem excessive? Why are they instead launching passionate attacks on the government positions, as if it were the end of the world? What brought all these deputies, politicians and media together in an angry chorus that is not in a critical mood but is rather inspired by a hatred comparable to those who see their interests threatened by the new measures? Are their motives to be trusted? If so, why didn’t they complain four years ago when a bipartisan vote passed Article 14, Paragraph 9 of the Constitution, introducing the specific set of prohibitions that the new bill intends to enforce? Were all these angry people not informed about the regulations back then? Or had they been assured that some other law – like the subsequent Venizelos law – would make sure that the constitutional stipulations would remain a dead letter? Indeed, this is more likely the reason behind their vitriolic attacks. However, the reaction of these people contradicts their claims that they have nothing to lose should the proposed measures come into force. Rather, they seem to enjoy some kind of secret connection to those whose access to lucrative state contracts is threatened by the proposed ban. It is an indirect admission of their involvement, a «guilty sensitivity» which, at the same time, constitutes irrefutable evidence of the far-reaching tentacles of corruption.