OPINION

Delayed reaction to clientelism

Sometimes the public perceives certain issues and senses things long before the political establishment. One typical example is how everyone except our politicians seems to know that turning a blind eye when some of their colleagues become entangled in clientelist deals with business interests will exact a very heavy price the next time the people head to the polls. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was elected with great enthusiasm by the public despite opposition from certain businesspeople who had become accustomed to having their own way thanks to specific politicians. The government’s popularity, however, experienced a spectacular dive when certain high-ranking ministers became engulfed in the embraces of some sectors of the media that are controlled by business interests. PASOK’s George Papandreou, meanwhile, lost in a big way even though he had the full support of the system in 2004. He then managed to survive the battle within his own party when that very system wanted him removed. Both of these examples ought to serve as an important lesson for «clients» who have become embroiled in the system either voluntarily or involuntarily.