A dubious consensus

The decision to make public the names of 1,967 journalists who hold state sector jobs while working in the media makes no more sense than the policy of declaring MPs’ assets. In that case, politicians are obliged to state their property holdings without indicating how they came to own them in the first place. The list of journalists informs the public of who works in the public sector without making clear who and how many are needed, how many are unemployed and who got jobs for their services to the party. The indiscriminate naming of the journalists fails to shine any light on the connection between journalists and the state. The minister of state and the Athens journalists’ union that made the decision are falling back on the habit of casting suspicion on everyone and end up throwing too many babies out with the bathwater. The same thing happened a few months ago when the education minister launched an investigation into illegal university transfers by the children of deputies in the past five years, only to withhold the findings later. The case has been left at that. It makes little sense to ask why the opposition has failed to protest these actions. It is an open secret that some issues stand above partisan confrontation when parties’ interests coincide: the meaningless and superficial declaration of politicians’ assets, the unanimous «no» vote when it comes to lifting an MP’s immunity from prosecution, or the virtually consensual approval of proposed pay hikes. Equally, there are cases of shared guilt, such as the illicit university transfers, which cancel each other out. A similar bipartisan stand can be seen in the manipulation of journalists working in the public sector. This incomprehensible and unprocessed publication of names serves a shady agenda: «Show me who appointed you and I’ll tell you who you vote for.»

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