OPINION

What para-state?

I was startled for a moment last Saturday. I passed by Makronissos to see whether the prison camp had re-opened; I toured the port of Thessaloniki to make sure that the Karfitsa gang that murdered deputy Grigoris Lambrakis had not been re-formed; then I went to Psychiko to make sure that the former queen Frederica hadn’t returned home. I did all that because I heard a politician, for whom I have a personal liking, suddenly sounding off about some para-state that was out to assassinate him. I realize that PASOK deputy Petros Efthymiou was shaken after suffering a vicious, deplorable attack. I respect his struggle against the junta. But I consider it to be sheer political folly to talk about a new para-state. It is political folly for two reasons. First of all, nobody under the age of 45 even knows what you’re talking about. Well, perhaps some full-time rebel who listens to the Internationale or anti-junta songs every night. Demonizing the Greek Right is outdated. Youngsters don’t care if you are progressive, democratic or anything else. They want jobs; they have everyday concerns. However, there is something of a paradox in this affair. In all probability the culprit is from the Exarchia scene. How did that area become a hotbed of illegality? Because some would-be tough guys have secured total impunity from the supposedly bad police and the bad state. There is no para-state; Frederica is dead; the Karfitsa gang no longer exists. But there is lawlessness and anarchy, which we have decided we prefer, in case the para-state re-emerges. Now that we have matured as a society and exorcized the ghosts, the time has come to impose the rule of law, to demand the arrest of whoever attacked Efthymiou and to ask him to stop living with non-existent demons and display more political maturity, even at difficult times – that is, when it is needed most.