OPINION

Curbing corruption

Certainly, graft and conflicting interests are too deeply imbedded to just go away with a single piece of legislation – no matter how strict. It is practically impossible to close all legal loopholes, which means lawbreakers tend to be a step ahead of lawmakers. One must also concede that the anti-corruption drive is uneven, having so far centered exclusively on the business focus of entangled interests. At the end of the day, businesspeople are just looking after their economic interests, whereas state officials are meant to ensure the correct management of taxpayers’ money. Finally, some stipulations of the controversial law are indeed incompatible with European legislation and could well end up being shelved. However, all these objections are more than offset by an undeniable fact: Corruption and entangled interests have grown to monstrous proportions, resulting in the squandering of public monies and the manipulation of political life. Without doubt the conservative administration has the dedicated and sincere intention of thwarting graft. This is what prompted construction tycoon Giorgos Bobolas to try to sell his stake in the Pegasus media group before the allegedly «impractical and ineffective» law even comes into force. The breakdown of the Pegasus deal does not change this fact. What matters is that Bobolas is now trying to sell his construction business and retain his grip on Pegasus, as his dual status is now illegal. The legislation has already succeeded in putting the brakes on conflicting interests, winning a great deal of public support. The entangled or would-be entangled businesspeople and their political cronies are aware of that. But this is something that Socialist officials have yet to grasp, vowing instead to abolish the law should they return to power. Such pledges only guarantee them a long career in the opposition.