OPINION

Not one Zoniana but many

There is a great element of hypocrisy in our reaction to events at Zoniana. We go around acting as though it’s the only part of Greece that cannot be reached by the long arm of the law. I have a feeling that Greece has many Zonianas. Every week we see these unbelievable types, businessmen etc, driving along with a motorcycle in front and an SUV with a blue police light behind. Their bodyguards stop the traffic to let them past, behaving as though they are state officials. This kind of thing does not happen anywhere else in Europe, where every businessman and club owner knows that he will go to prison simply for impersonating an official. But we have been putting up with this kind of behavior for some 20 years. We have become immune. So, now we have reached the point of having «godfathers,» no doubt idolized by the hashish dealers of Zoniana, in every key sector of Greek society, including healthcare. Journalism has its own Zoniana too: «publishers» who refuse to pay their telephone bills, threaten OTE telecom with «revelations» and live comfortably outside the law thanks to subsidies and the blatant disregard for the law so typical of the media world. The examples are numerous and unfortunately the model of the successful journalist has become that of the «wise guy» prepared to trample on every law just to get a headline. The Zonianas of this country have been nurtured by our politicians (after themselves being fed), but now they are realizing that the country cannot move ahead on the «Zoniana system,» as applied in the Markopoulo mines or state procurements. They may feel that they have the courage to clear away the dirt, but they come up against interests, blackmail and threats. Behind every stalled reform there is a Zoniana. What is needed is political courage.