OPINION

Realize the problem

The present stance of those who, at first, rushed in, overreacted, and drew false conclusions from recent events demonstrates that they have gradually realized the extent and the true depth of the problems caused by the Kokkalis scandal. The corrective statements made by the president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), Lefteris Antonakopoulos, retracting previous remarks castigating the supposed prosecution of the entrepreneurial class, as well as similar excuses by Prime Minister Costas Simitis which watered down his excessive reactions against the undermining of the democracy, are both indicative of the above trend. Unfortunately, these positive developments are accompanied by a parallel trend which characterizes the entire range of the political spectrum and which aims at covering up the entire issue. This paradoxical distancing by nearly all politicians and their unusual willingness to refer – without making any comments – the case to the judiciary raises doubts over the sincerity of their intentions, given that politicians have had a tendency to overwhelm the public with remarks on far less essential issues which also had a legal aspect. It is up to justice, of course, to decide on the nature of the Kokkalis case. Justice has some very important evidence in hand, as underscored by the gravity of the charges. In order for the investigation to dig deep enough, however, politicians will have to do two things: First, they will have to abstain from any intervention aimed at impeding the work of the justice system. Second, they will have to cooperate. The legal process will require judicial support from other countries, investigations outside Greece and the release of bank accounts, which all require political support and political will. If politicians refuse to provide this assistance, they may not, eventually, prevent the judiciary from completing its work, but they will definitely delay it. The fact that they have avoided any position on the issue of opening up the accounts, which Kathimerini has revealed in every detail, is a bad omen. The sooner our politicians rid themselves of their opportunistic illusions, believing that this is only a temporary setback, the better it will be for the country and themselves. The whole country is discussing the Kokkalis case, political discourse revolves around this and there will be no safe solution without full disclosure. Public opinion of the politicians and the voters’ preferences will be largely determined by the politicians’ stance on this issue.