‘Always first in line’

Greece is a blessed country. Not even in the «journalist’s wild imagination,» to use Alicia Romero’s phrase, would another state allow a suspect who has been charged with a clutch of hideous crimes (to which he has confessed more than once and with all due formality) make lengthy phone calls from an ostensibly suffocating prison to journalists of his own choosing. What is more, this suspect was calling them not to apologize for his crimes (the same man said until recently that he wanted to «become a good Christian») or to confess defeat, but rather to get on with his lies, threats, specious claims, and confusing remarks, hoping in vain that he will «restore his image.» Searching for glory and its material reward, several media stars have voluntarily (if not enthusiastically) turned themselves into vehicles for Savvas Xeros’s objectives, into accessories of his dark plans. «So that truth will shine,» or so they say. The sole truth that slipped his lips during the interviews, in which he did not retract a single bit of his confessions, is encapsulated in the following remark: «In robberies, I was always first in line.» There you go, then. With no pressure whatsoever, without drugs or mock executions, Xeros boasts over what had been blanketed with pseudo-revolutionary jargon that idealized opportunism: Xeros took part in robberies (what is more, he was «first in line»)  – not in so-called expropriations. Nevertheless, and while he has no problem in saying, even now, whom he would shoot, he provocatively asserts that his organization acted in the public interest and assassinated those «who did the greatest harm to the common good.» Xeros rings all the changes from murderous populism through to the populist confessional tone of a television interview, the content of which is fully reproduced in certain newspapers and which, thereby, promotes discredited terrorists into legitimate participants in public life.