OPINION

Baseness

Kathimerini has repeatedly pointed out that political and business entanglement and corruption have become dangerous tumors endangering the social structure. Everyone knows, from personal experience, the size of the problem. In spite of this, the problem has long remained in the shadow given that only a few people appeared willing to reveal its extent. The majority prefer to turn their heads away. The combination of the immoderate and blatantly selfish stance of the big barons and, on the other, government cowardice, has fueled the widespread public impression that politics can be a highly lucrative activity. This sweeping impression does injustice to those public figures who perform their duties consciously and honestly, and also erodes the foundations of our democratic institutions. Significant progress has been made in many sectors in the past few years. On the other hand, Greek society is clearly in moral decline. Principles have been loosened and values undermined. Greed and grasping for the top by any and all means are rewarded. Amid this poor climate, large parts of the population seem to oscillate between two sorts of behavior. On one hand, they admire all kinds of success stories and are gripped by an illusory desire to recreate them for themselves. On the other hand, they envy the «successful» figures and have an urge to tear them down. This role is undertaken, on behalf of the masses, by a certain class of media stars. Using the invincible weapon of high television and radio ratings, but in many cases also their revealing stories, they recreate themselves into guardians and persecutors. They are able to do so because state institutions fail to curb their activities. It is indicative that there was no reaction to Makis Triandaphyllopoulos’s mudslinging so long as other citizens came under attack. It took a slanderous attack on the president for our intimidated political leaders to raise their voices and make vague allegations over conspiracies. The government, already in trouble because of other problems, adopted the convenient interpretation that some power centers are trying to destabilize it. This, however, sound like more of an ostensible pretext. 0ur television-based democracy has most likely just improved on its record of baseness. Meta has not yet said whether he would run again, but warned late Wednesday in a television interview that he would vote against any «puppet prime minister» blindly obedient to Nano.