Joining hands

The unhealthy climate that is being cultivated by the media does not create the right conditions under which to commemorate the anniversary of October 28, 1940, a historic event of national unanimity and resistance. But that is how history works. Different times create different challenges that, in turn, call on people and their leaders to provide different answers. Therefore, it would be of great service to the country’s progress if the anniversary of Greece’s refusal to surrender to the ultimatum by the Axis forces conveyed to the government and the opposition the message of united resistance to the orchestrated campaign to undermine and distort the political system. It would be a great contribution if they could put aside political opportunism and expedient objectives. If the statements by the leaders of Greece’s mainstream parties are any indication, the basis for consensus is here. «The unhealthy climate that is cultivated [by certain circles] will not hamper our effort. The citizens are far more mature than what those who wish to manipulate them tend to think,» said conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Thessaloniki this week. «PASOK does not feed scandal-mongering, an unhealthy climate is not in its interest,» Socialist opposition leader George Papandreou said on the same day. «Frankly I was pleased by the fact that Papandreou said that he is reworking the famous eight proposals for the fight on corruption – which were vague,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, hinting that the ruling party would welcome a convergence between the counter-corruption policies of the two main parties. Greece is no longer threatened by the totalitarian forces of 1940, Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. However it is exposed to a new, internal threat that aims to bend the political system to its whims. The country’s democratic institutions are faced with a totalitarian-style campaign to hold it to ransom. These circles seek to eliminate any counter-corruption drive that threatens to curb their source of power. «We are making changes that are resisted by ideas, mentalities and vested interests that had kept the country backward. Reactionary machinations, conservative groaning can neither discourage nor disorient us,» the prime minister said. If Papandreou really shares the premier’s views, he would do the country a great service if he transformed them into party policy.