OPINION

ND’s political responsibilty

Conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was right to point out recently that corruption goes beyond partisan borders, for it is a national issue. Using less subtle language, member of Parliament Evangelos Polyzos meant the same thing when he said that all parties have their parasitic corrupt politicians. Corruption grew and became more visible during the tenure of the Socialist administrations, but the truth is it existed before 1981 when PASOK came to power. Corruption is part and parcel of a state apparatus and it is the job of the government to fight it. Here lies the political responsibility of governments, whether they acknowledge it or not. As government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said, the government should get credit for taking a stand after the revelation of the scandal. At the same time, however, it is responsible for picking the director of the Competition Committee. The government could have avoided the problem had it respected the independence of the market watchdog. If the institution was left to select its own members (following, of course, the rules of ASEP, the supreme council for personnel selection), it could not be held accountable. In other words, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas might have had the best intentions when filling the post, but his choice was a mistake and this is a problem for the government. Political responsibility cannot be disclaimed with statements. After all, the blame comes from the people.