OPINION

Why did Simitis pen his memoirs?

In Greek politics, it’s unusual for outgoing leaders to pen their memoirs. Neither former New Democracy prime minister Constantine Karamanlis nor PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou felt the urge to do so. Both decided to let history judge them. It is unlikely that former PASOK premier Costas Simitis was motivated by financial gain when he decided to write his «Politics for a Creative Greece – 1996-2004,» as the impact of its release on the Greek market was sure to be far less momentous than the same move in the US market by an internationally renowned American politician. It is almost certain that Simitis is unlikely to make a lot of money as a writer even if his work is judged to be the best by any Greek leader. So what pushed him to write this book which has stirred so much debate already? Those who have followed Simitis’s life after his departure from politics can see that he had not been able to continue his political career at a lower level. He does not possess the character of former ND premier Constantine Mitsotakis, who does not hesitate to intervene in political affairs whenever he deems it expedient to do so. Simitis opted for a more detached stance. His habit of silent note-taking and his preference for working within a small circle of close associates while prime minister still characterize him today. As for the motives behind his book, a closer examination is needed to reveal them.