Last chance

Any talk about a «conflict of interests» and of «charges similar to those that have collapsed before in court,» in regards to the sensational case of business tycoon Socrates Kokkalis is clearly evasive. We are, rather, dealing with a very serious investigation which has resulted in six unprecedented felony charges being lodged against the prominent businessman. Only the court will decide over the credibility of the accusations, and only as long as it is left to do its work unhindered. The prosecutor has already had to show great courage and overcome difficult conditions in order to table the charges. We must make sure that the events of 1995 are not repeated and that light is shed on a series of significant events, regardless of the final verdict on the Kokkalis case. In any event, Kokkalis’s entanglements with the country’s political elite, state officials and in the public sphere are part of a much broader issue than these specific allegations and the question whether Kokkalis is guilty or not. Kathimerini has, from the very beginning, treated the Kokkalis predicament as a blatant example of political and business entanglements, if for no other reason than because it is aware of the corrosive effect that this tumor has had on the function of democratic institutions, as well as the disastrous repercussions on the economy and its aim to work within the context of fair competition. In theory, these allegations allow the political domain to take advantage of this opportunity to rid itself of the burden of entangled interests and the constant accusations confronting them concerning this issue. Politicians could do a great service, not only to themselves, but also to the country, if they dared to do so. No one has forgotten, of course, that politicians failed to live up to the expectations of the Greek public more than 10 years ago when the case of former banker and publisher George Koskotas and the supposed subsequent purge of the political domain of corruption nourished the illusion that transparency in the political sphere had been restored. No sooner had Koskotas been put in jail, than a new, broader, deeper, and more insidious network surfaced. The country is suffocating. The government and all politicians ought to realize that this is the last opportunity they have to rid the country of this canker. They cannot afford to also waste this chance. It would be unwise to repeat the same mistake.

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