OPINION

Politicians: Are they responsible?

The debate as to whether politicians bear political responsibility is quite meaningless. Political responsibility is not like a shirt that can be put on or taken off. Politicians cannot take on this kind of responsibility. On the contrary, only the people are entitled to hold public figures responsible for their actions, whether the latter like it or not. Criminal responsibility, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. It can only be awarded by the country’s institutional bodies (meaning the judiciary or Parliament) and only after an in-depth investigation of the actual facts has taken place. As a consequence, the ongoing debate about the government or the opposition’s political responsibility over the Vatopedi land exchange scandal is rather pointless. As opinion polls show, political responsibility for the scandal has already been assigned. Meanwhile, the stubbornness of certain politicians who reject the political responsibilities that have already been assigned indicates exactly the opposite – political irresponsibility.