Sitting on a time bomb

The official version of what happened in the phone-tapping scandal withstood yesterday’s shock testimony by Vodafone President Giorgos Koronias to the Parliamentary Committee for Institutions and Transparency. Over the past few weeks, the credibility of this version has been struck several blows, but it has not collapsed. However, it is by no means certain that it will continue to withstand the pressure in the immediate future. The media – with the opposition hot on its heels – will not allow the case to be quietly filed away, as the government had hoped, particularly since, quite understandably, they have picked up the scent that the story still has plenty of grist for the mill. Moreover, they have realized that there is a weak link in the chain. Despite the intense pressure he is under, Vodafone Greece’s CEO is sticking by the official version. All Koronias did yesterday was put blame on Ericsson and hint that the perpetrators of the phone tapping belong to the secret service of a major power. In ambiguous terms, he let it be known that if he is made a scapegoat, he will have much more to say. The government has begun to lose control of the situation and is in danger of being sucked down into the morass. Even though its own members were spied upon, its handling of the problem has cost it a great deal politically. Its outrageous effort to pass the issue off on the judiciary has had questionable results. It appears that the 11-month preliminary investigation was nothing more than a waste of valuable time. The relevant authority – previously left in the dark – only took a few weeks to reach a revealing initial conclusion. The media has its faults, but it is relentless, so there was never any chance of a coverup. What we are seeing now was inevitable all along, so the government only has itself to blame for the fact that it is now sitting on a time bomb.