OPINION

Yardstick of democracy

The quality and gravity of a democratic regime are judged chiefly by the way in which it protects the weak, the anonymous. In the case of Constantina Kuneva, the state has unfortunately not done its duty. Over one month has passed since she was brutally attacked and yet no one has been held responsible. Obviously the leadership of the Public Order Ministry and the Greek Police did not realize the huge moral, social and political dimensions of the issue. So they left everything in the hands of the local police station, with the result that valuable time was lost. Even after that, the investigation was a mere formality and never delved too deeply. Astonishingly, it was said that any real investigation could only begin once Kuneva herself testified; yet Kuneva lost her voice after being attacked with acid and is suffering severe emotional distress. This is the tactic employed by people who obviously don’t want to do their job and are looking for excuses, despite the availability of both witnesses and evidence. Even more incredible was the attempt by some officials to hint to the media that Kuneva was «paying» for a relationship with a member of the Bulgarian mafia. This is unfortunately an example of an all too common practice on the part of a certain category of police officers – to fabricate conspiracy theories when they are unable to solve a case, or even worse, when they find themselves up against dangerous interests. Whatever happened that night in Petralona, the police must do their job and salvage their reputation. That will only happen when the perpetrators are brought to justice. The Kuneva case is not the exclusive property of unionists or troublemakers trying to make capital out of it. Any self-respecting democracy should first try to find the perpetrators, take care of Kuneva even after the media have forgotten her and then defend all those who clean up after us while we sleep.