OPINION

The logic of the clique mentality

As is always the case with every major issue that is blown out of all proportion, there was no shortage of excesses when the case of the alleged milk cartel recently hit the headlines. MPs and cadres from all parties, as well as journalists, all rushed to secure television and radio slots in a feverish contest to see who could level the severest accusations. And this fever was fueled by an equalizing logic, according to which everyone is corrupt, profiting either from some cartel or from businessmen – a stance that discredits politics and politicians yet further. And all these efforts – without exception – were made without anyone succeeding in touching upon the real causes of the corruption that plagues our country. Corruption is not the natural advantage of just one party mechanism, nor of one country. Corruption exists within every state mechanism, whose weakest links are exploited by citizens seeking to serve their own interests (acquiring a certificate or license, settling tax office obligations or promoting a business venture). In any case, it takes two to tango, so it is not just the state that is to blame for corrupt practices. Efforts to tackle the scourge must be unrelenting, and the performance of every government will be judged by the methods used and their persistence. An analysis of these factors will also reveal whether the government and its representatives are undertaking their responsibilities or just pretending to do so. The truth is that during PASOK’s time in power, corruption and unaccountability assumed giant proportions and «easy buck» logic prevailed as a political tactic. It is also true that no one expected New Democracy to work miracles in such a short time, nor for mentalities to change overnight despite the implementation of a series of legislative measures to boost transparency. But this is one thing, and the recent revelations about the much-afflicted state mechanism is quite another. It is clear that, when it comes to staffing the public sector, the logic of the clique mentality prevails.