When MPs split from the herd

The result of the parliamentary vote yesterday on whether to indict five former conservative ministers, in office between 2004 and 2009, for their alleged roles in the exchange of public property for land owned by the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos sent an optimistic signal, as many deputies did not succumb to herd mentality. A great number of Socialist deputies cast votes of conscience, based on hard evidence, and did not endorse the allegations that have been conjured up by the ruling party’s spin doctors. Lawmakers voted for the three of the ex-ministers to face charges of breach of faith, but a government proposal for similar charges to be brought against another two former ministers was rejected. The MPs’ behavior was a sign of maturity. It should act as a reminder that all of us – politicians, the judiciary and the mass media – ought to examine similar cases with levelheadedness and without bias. As for the officials of the PASOK administration, they must be very careful how they handle such cases in the future before they embroil themselves in another fiasco.