OPINION

The state we are in

Those who «forgot» to transfer the wages of Professor – and Prime Minister – Costas Simitis to the library of the Panteion University, the legitimate recipient of his donation, did nothing unusual. Condemn them as we might here, many of us privately justify their action. Perhaps because we know of someone who has done the same. Perhaps because we believe that we would act in a similar fashion had we been faced with a similar opportunity. Perhaps because we all believe that the State is up for grabs, as its very guardians indulge in obscure and highly publicized exchanges. Perhaps because we have got to the point where we no longer bother with the fig leaf that people mixed up in shady business and all sorts of social climbers used to wear for the sake of appearances so as to avoid shocking family men, housewives, or children. «Do it (if you can) as long as you don’t get caught,» is the principle permeating contemporary society, in the sorry state to which we have reduced it. When Costas Simitis was told that the most urgent reform is a sweeping change of the country’s public administration, he seemed unconcerned and replied that our society is still not mature enough and that such an undertaking could not possibly be carried out within a four-year term. But such a reform will never be carried out. For it will never begin. No politician wants to engage in citizens’ everyday lives, to start by sorting out the minor, endless muddles of existence, to fill the financial holes dug by constructors who care little about wasting taxpayers’ money, for it seems nothing next to the fortunes which they make, effortlessly, overnight. The insecurity of the Greek citizen that participates in the games of minor crooks (who mimic big ones) is a product of the disorder and fear fueled by a corrupt state.