OPINION

Communication games

Seventeen individuals charged with murders and other criminal acts, the alleged operative arm of the November 17 urban guerrilla group, are in prison awaiting trial. This accomplishment has, correctly, been hailed as a great success on the part of the government and has invited much praise from within and outside the country. The interval between the capture of the terrorists and their impending trial is a very delicate period and calls for cautious government handling. At present, the authorities have not lived up to the exigency. Early in the summer, in an attempt to improve its image in a difficult period, the government was quick to embark on a game of communication by planting information and channeling reams of evidence to the media – stimulating the private television stations in particular – while the police authorities for their own reasons simultaneously tried to broaden the investigations by giving out information for publication. In effect, the State has been caught up in the turmoil, over which it has lost control. Much can be said about the inconsistent and ridiculous remarks made on the political talk shows of private television channels concerning the supposed revelations of November 17 gunman Savvas Xeros. These, however, are nothing but the results of poor handling by government officials. Responsibility for the current disgraceful situation lies not with those who are trying to figure out what is happening but with those who leaked the information in the first place. The authorities prepared the ground for the emergence of these various self-styled experts who daily parade on our television screens. It is those who supply them with plentiful information and ample room to maneuver who must pull themselves together.