OPINION

Village chiefs and statesmen

Former member of Parliament Christos Verelis, who had served as minister of transport when PASOK was in power, smelled something fishy going on in the long period during which the sinful German company MAN was supplying the Greek state with vehicles. Verelis on Friday resigned his parliamentary seat before things get really ugly. His nose did not deceive him. There certainly is something fishy going on in the public sector. But Verelis himself along with the majority of politicians in recent years are largely responsible for it. The governing elite of both major parties has been promising modernization but producing only corruption and retrogression. This elite may build two roads and a soccer stadium, but only after plundering the funds for five roads and three stadiums, receiving a kickback from the foreign supplier (much like a village chief in Africa) and distributing public and European Union funds among members of the business elite. Members of this latter elite are able to get rich without having to worry about the competition, but they are well aware that they must provide steady backing for their cronies in politics. It is a cycle. Money goes from one pocket to the other and not a cent is shared with anyone else. Public works are scheduled according to the needs of the parties involved in their realization, according to private interests rather than the public’s present or future needs. The state invests for the purpose of generating a profit for a handful of individuals rather than to benefit the country or its people. The latter are left with only the putrid byproducts: corruption, disillusion, deception and a lack of meritocracy that leads to one conclusion – everyone is the same, ourselves included. Widespread corruption and its complete acceptance by the people is the most noxious byproduct of this cycle, a poison that spreads and has no cure. Now, the entire body of society has been infected, but the source of the infection is always the head, the pathetic «statesmen» of this country who offer nothing but regression.