OPINION

There is a solution

Only someone who is blatantly selfish or incurably fanatical could say that entangled interests and corruption are the «privilege» of one party. These are phenomena that find fertile ground for growth in the very foundations of the party system, but they do not stem from it. The root cause of the problem lies with our flawed value system. The dominant social role models of today are mainly nouveau riche and morally eclectic, hence the tolerance displayed by the political system and society at large. The threat of public humiliation is no more. In contrast, any form of success invites a mixture of admiration and envy. These attitudes know no party lines but this does not spare the political elite of responsibility. Governments tend to turn a blind eye to corruption to protect their patron ties. Internal monitoring mechanisms rarely work in the public sector. It is also no coincidence that the most loyal party staff are rewarded with lucrative postings. Things are somewhat different with the entangled interests, which thrived under the Costas Simitis administrations. He let it develop not in order to acquire personal wealth, but to ensure the support of the media barons and major business players. Costas Karamanlis won the elections on his opposition to this, but, unfortunately, his record so far is very poor and his government, too, is not without those who nourish their own privileged relationships. The problem cannot be solved by moral preaching nor by prosecution. Only major institutional measures and stricter monitoring mechanisms will do the trick. But, for this to happen, it takes a strong display of political will that the conservative administration is sorely lacking at this level. This climate of tolerance, which so far has acted as a hotbed for corruption, can only end by injecting a new morality into politics and society.