OPINION

There is a way

Given that things have already come to a head, abstract discourse about political and business entanglements and the war of conflicting interests only clouds the issue and obscures the truth. The fact of political and business entanglement is, no doubt, a broader issue which trickles all the way from the top to the base of the politics/business pyramid. In other words, entanglement is found between, or to be more precise, it is a primary characteristic of, contractors and suppliers. The most crucial issue, however, is the attempt to purge the political elite of corruption and thereby prepare the ground for reform which will allow the elimination of corruption from the lower echelons of the state mechanism. Kathimerini has not claimed that business tycoon Socrates Kokkalis is the only entangled businessman. There is no question that there are more big business groups which do business with the wider public sector and have, for years, played this highly profitable game. But the case of the Intracom president is the most characteristic instance of intertwined interests. This fact is underscored by the manner in which his enterprises grew in size. In this light, and given that the fact that Kokkalis has been charged with a string of felonies, the government and all politicians have a moral obligation to contribute by legal means to the quick resolution of this case. Any hesitation or delay will be rightfully seen as a cover-up, especially since the files of the now defunct East German security apparatus, the Stasi, include the implication that political parties were funded by the businessman in question. Kathimerini has once again reported a number of big money transfers from the controversial accounts 0709-60-011-025 and 0709-85-011-025 in East Germany’s Handelsbank to various recipients. The opening-up of these accounts, and any others that may be discovered, is imperative, so as to shed light on the issue and put an end to the moral debasement of the political sphere which corrodes the foundations of our democratic system. Furthermore, both the government and the opposition ought to cooperate and promote institutional amendments which will shrink the tumor of political and business entanglements and avert similar corrupt phenomena. In a question to the prime minister yesterday, the leader of the Left Coalition party put some specific proposals on the table. One of the proposals raised the issue of mobilizing the committee provided by Article 7, Law 2331/1995 to prevent and suppress the legalization of revenues from criminal activity. This is would be a way of opening the accounts in question and investigating the flow of black money. There it is, go and do it then – especially the protesting government.