OPINION

Political mold?

The image, and ultimately the fate, of every government does not depend solely on the capability and performance of its ministers; after all, there are relatively few of them, so their mistakes and incompetencies are easily spotted and rectified through reshuffles. However, the echelons directly below the ministers are peopled with «state functionaries» of moderate to low significance who have been appointed by the ruling party in order to support and execute the government’s goals. It is this group – generally invisible and immune to scrutiny from the opposition party – which is chiefly responsible for shaping the government’s image. This observation follows recent examples of the disastrous impact that these mediocre functionaries can have upon a government…The most pertinent example is that of the irresponsibility and self-delusion demonstrated by the heads of the state food watchdog (EFET) in the case of the moldy yogurts. Indeed, it seems that EFET chiefs failed to brief anyone but their close relatives about the tainted goods for more than a month… These mistakes cannot be rectified by the simple dismissal of the responsible parties, as is the case with ministers and their deputies; and this is because there are so many of them that it is virtually impossible for their actions to be monitored by their superiors. For the same reason, it is difficult to keep track of the frequency and gravity of such blunders…