Serving vested interests

We all know that supporting certain vested interests in the most unabashed manner is something we have come to expect from members of every political party in Greece. One of the most recent examples of such a tactic is the statement made by opposition PASOK MP Christos Papoutsis in Parliament yesterday, where he contended that enforcing the use of cash registers at gas stations would hurt small-business owners. Papoutsis suggested that there is the danger, in the recent amendment to pass such a measure, of destroying small businesses, small gas stations, and forcing them to merge with large companies and, in turn, abetting the creation of cartels. He also said that controlling the gas stations themselves was not the problem, but instead monitoring imports and the sales from refineries. Such a stance is provocative to say the least and all it achieves is to gloss over the illegal actions of gas stations that smuggle gas and set their own prices. It should come as no surprise that the PASOK MP’s statement has raised many eyebrows and that his position on this issue will be examined.