OPINION

Civil war

It came as no surprise when the television media rushed to adopt the role of coroner and judge, to make medical diagnoses and judgments, after the death of postal unionist Manolis Gourniezakis. It was no surprise when party executives tried to shape facts to fit their agenda. Even allegations that party friends at ELTA, the Greek postal service, are never at work, as well as charges that retired employees are hired as consultants on lavish contracts, caused little surprise. What came as huge surprise, however, were reports that ELTA has space for two pro-government unions, namely DAKE 2005 and DAKE Enotita (union). If the DAKE 2005 allegations of systematic bullying by members of DAKE Enotita (including the intimidation of pro-government officials) had instead been voiced by PASKE, the PASOK-affiliated union, or some other left-wing faction, the government would easily reject the accusations as biased and groundless. New Democracy would deny violence at the ELTA election and claim that Gourneziakis’s death was due to natural causes. The government may turn a deaf ear to charges of preferential treatment of party acolytes who see their party tag as a passport to well-paid idleness. Turning their back on the longstanding system of patronage is seen as bad for the party. But the administration does not have the moral and political right to ignore the official and concrete charges that people from its own camp are setting up para-state mechanisms within the public sector. As corruption allegations have been grabbing the headlines over the previous weeks, government officials have been keen to brag that, unlike PASOK’s cadres, they have done their best to «reveal rather than conceal» scandals. Here’s a chance for them to act on the allegations of ND unionists and do away with an ugly piece of cronyism created by their own boys.