OPINION

The risks of an uncritical policy

It has become commonplace, and rightly so, to call ruling New Democracy and opposition PASOK «melting pots.» This means, quite simply, that the country’s two major parties have a tendency to «fish» everywhere they can to recruit supporters from every profession and social class. Understandably, this undiscriminating policy makes it very difficult to monitor members and supporters. On the other hand, the Synaspismos Left coalition and the Communist Party (KKE) have far fewer members than the two main parties, which makes it far easier for prospective crooks to be identified. It is difficult to distance such individuals from the public when they work in government offices. But it can be done. One simply needs political will and consensus. But it seems that the two main political parties are not fundamentally mature enough for such a development. A visit to any one of the capital’s major public organizations is enough to prove this. Just one glance at the placards is enough to determine that a large number of officials have put themselves forward as candidates for municipal or prefectural councillor. Generally, in the infinite mass that is the public sector, partisanship has spiralled out of all control. It has reached the point where a state doctor can refer to a colleague as «good but rightwing» or «competent but a PASOK supporter.» So the doctor’s profession, as well as many other state-linked roles, is now assessed on the basis of political affiliation as well as competence. Two decades were long enough for PASOK to get a stranglehold on ND. Now ND believes that its time has come and is attempting to impose an equally asphyxiating clamp on PASOK. This mentality, along with a widespread moral bankruptcy among the public (who have accepted bartering and easy gain as a daily reality), constitute the major scourges faced by the prime minister, but also by all politicians who want to change the course of Greek society.