OPINION

Inadequate or sinister?

The unethical attack on Alekos Papadopoulos coming from the Maximos Mansion carries greater political weight than the unjustified removal of the former health minister. Indeed, when did the premier’s faceless advisers discover that the ex-minister was lazy and incapable of perceiving his mandate as a burdensome load? First, the people never appointed Papadopoulos to any ministerial mission. It was Costas Simitis himself who selected him, entrusting him with three key ministries after 1996. Furthermore, as defined by the Constitution, the prime minister has full responsibility for the selection of his ministers. The belated conclusions drawn by the prime minister’s aides over the «political inadequacy» of the ex-minister have a different starting point and are driven by different motives and objectives. The indignation of Simitis and other ministers derives from the effects that the expression of Papadopoulos’s political disaffection had on the public opinion. Greek citizens, in fact, experience and share Papadopoulos’s disappointment. As a consequence, according to popular judgment, it is not the removed minister who «does not perceive the mission entrusted to him by the people as a burden or a burdensome load» but those who fail to perceive the grim political reality and insist on an idealized picture of the current situation. It is precisely this inconsistency of views and deeds between the disappointed politician and his joyful opponents that bolsters the ex-minister’s image – on which he might capitalize in the future. At least, this is what his rivals fear and why they have rushed to write off the former minister’s political mortgage. Papadopoulos now says that his withdrawal from politics is final. But one should never say never in politics; and his rivals are well aware of that. Rather than leaving the «inadequate minister» in peace, they attack him severely as if he were a sinister opponent.