OPINION

No guilt, only smoke

The Siemens scandal never happened. The German authorities are not going to extradite Michalis Christoforakos, the managing director of the firm’s operations in Greece. In accordance with their laws, they are setting him free. The crimes he committed in Greece are not crimes in Germany. The master of perhaps the greatest political financing scandal in recent decades is now at large and will not be held accountable to the Greek state. Since he is not being held accountable in a court of law nor being made to testify, the scandal is unlikely to ever be cleared up. Everyone more or less knows that a lot of money has flowed into the pockets of politicians and political parties but no one will be able to prove it and no one will be punished. The Siemens scandal never happened. The case is closed, just as the Vodafone phone-tapping case was closed and just as one case after another is closed – the cartels, the looting of social security funds, the Vatopedi monastery real-estate scandal and so many more. Scandals erupt all over the media and in cafes, erode people’s confidence in the democratic state and then die down amid cover-ups and a lack of accountability, to be forgotten until the next one erupts even more explosively. The Siemens scandal never happened. It was just an other chapter in the ongoing mega-scandal that is eating away at the body politic of the Hellenic Republic, in the ongoing circulation of laundered political funds, another chapter in the ongoing one, then the other, of dynasties and factions in power, the ongoing extra transactions for every public work, small or large. Our minds at rest, we move on toward the renewal of our democratic regime through elections. «They have expunged their eyes, blind. No witnesses remain for anything.» (George Seferis)