On political responsibility

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis hit the nail on the head: An elected government is politically responsible for any mishandling that negatively affects public life. And there was definitely some mishandling in the pension funds scandal. But Bakoyannis is wrong about apportioning responsibility among ministers and other conservative cadres. The minister is obviously mistaking political responsibility for a possible penalty which, in fact, requires proof and evidence. In a government, each minister and each ministry shoulder political responsibility for their own domain – either because someone was responsible for a specific action/omission, or because they tolerated other people’s actions/omissions. There is political responsibility in the pension fund case. If the government wants a political solution to the crisis, then it must move along the lines of general and individual political responsibility.

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