Greece News Weekly

Editorial To Vima: Tsipras’ court trials

The left, having since the interwar period suffered unwarranted persecution over unproven crimes, was in the past guarded as regards the periodic waves of scandal-mongering, and demanded objectivity and evidence before condemning and ostracising political figures and forces.

There can be no doubt that thanks to the government, which aims to besmirch whomever is seeking power and to lure undecided voters, we are headed for a criminalisation of Greece’s political life.

The plan had been announced and was systematically prepared for some time.

Mr. Tsipras and his inner circle chose from the beginning to conduct politics in an absolutely divisive manner, indiscriminately identifying all their competitors with the “dirty old [system]”, and depicting themselves as the “clean new force” in politics.

This simplistically dangerous, Manichaean approach to politics, which has guided the government from its first steps, is not compatible with the traditions of the Greek left, and is reminiscent of practices that proved bitter for it.

The left, having since the interwar period suffered unwarranted persecution over unproven crimes, was in the past guarded as regards the periodic waves of scandal-mongering, and demanded objectivity and evidence before condemning and ostracising political figures and forces.

The relatively recent experience of the year that went down in history as “dirty ’89” is not the best. It was then that segments of the left cooperated with opposing forces in the name of a supposed clean hands operation against Andreas Papandreou – whom incidentally the representatives of the new left who are currently in power invoke, singing his praises.

Those who are old enough remember that the involvement of the left in that parody of a trial of Andreas Papandreou, with witnesses lacking in credibility, ended in a fiasco and plunged political parties into a state of disregard and untrustworthiness.

Now, the heirs of that left are doing the same and worse. They are launching blanket attacks against everyone and are preparing trials of a former prime minister and ex-ministers, based on hearsay and the testimony of protected witnesses, who do not dare to expose themselves in public.

They are fueling a climate of generalised disdain for politics that serves only marginal forces and the extreme right.

Undoubtedly the healthcare sector was pillaged, especially during the care-free era of borrowed prosperity for the entire political system, including the left, and many may have succumbed to the temptation to put their hand in the till.

The big spending party with medicines and excessive expenditures in healthcare overall did not occur in the bailout memorandum era. It burgeoned between 2004 and 2009, a period which is purposely overlooked by the left-wing government.

In fact, expenditures were checked and impressively reduced during the memorandum era.

Here, again, those in power are partial, revealing informal ties and subterranean protections.

Even as regards the current period, which is under investigation, the available data, although shoddy and imperfect, do not correspond to the breadth and weight of the charges.

That is all the more true when they take on a wholesale and selective character, as they concern Mr. Tsipras’ distinguished and high-level opponents, who systematically highlight his inadequacies and responsibilities.

In this manner, those in power are simply poisoning the country’s political life, and opening an exhausting vicious circle, as they have opted for a variation of a political vendetta in Mani, merciless and endless.

A bit of self-restraint would do no harm, ladies and gentlemen of the government. The country cannot be transformed into a boundless courthouse.

You, who admire Andreas Papandreou and invoke the late ethnarch Konstantinos Karamanlis, should remember that in an analogous circumstance, then president Karamanlis said that, “You do not put former prime ministers in jail. You send them home.”

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