An­swers pend­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

cor­rup­tion. Pres­sure on him to do so is mount­ing again fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions about the Ger­man arms bribes. Dur­ing his ten­ure, it was said that a de­gree of cor­rup­tion is un­avoid­able at times of eco­nomic growth and Simi­tis him­self urged any­one who had any ev­i­dence of cor­rup­tion to “send it to the prose­cu­tor.” But such ex­cuses won’t do any­more. Kara­man­lis has cho­sen to re­main silent al­though he oc­ca­sion­ally voices his opin­ion on de­vel­op­ments through his close aides. Many ques­tions still re­main unan­swered con­cern­ing his var­i­ous ap­point­ments, his fail­ure to im­pose his will at cru­cial mo­ments, and his de­nial when faced with the im­pend­ing fis­cal de­rail­ment. He still owes us a re­sponse as to why he did not take harsh mea­sures back in the fall of 2008, when it was al­ready ev­i­dent that the coun­try was head­ing to­ward the rocks, and why he con­tin­ued to spend un­til fall of the fol­low­ing year, in spite of warn­ings at home and abroad. Si­lence is not ap­pro­pri­ate for a for­mer PM. The bur­geon­ing cost of the state sec­tor and his loss of con­trol over law and or­der de­mand some ex­pla­na­tions. As for Pa­pan­dreou, he has failed to live up to his role since he left of­fice. And he too need to an­swer some key ques­tions. Why didn’t he help Kara­man­lis deal with the debt cri­sis in spring 2009? Why didn’t he fol­low up from the speech of his pre­de­ces­sor at the Thes­sa­loniki Trade Fair in­stead of ut­ter­ing his in­fa­mous “There is money” state­ment? Why didn’t he try to avoid the IMF and the mem­o­ran­dum by adopt­ing im­me­di­ate fis­cal mea­sures? And when did he de­cide that there was not al­ter­na­tive to IMF in­volve­ment? Did he re­ally try to fend off pres­sure from Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel by mak­ing an al­liance with Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jose Manuel Bar­roso and oth­ers or not? Peo­ple want an­swers. It is very easy for our for­mer lead­ers to blame their fall, and the col­lapse of the coun­try, on the deep PASOK, on in­vis­i­ble for­eign pow­ers or in­ter­ests that can’t be named. But some de­gree of self-crit­i­cism would be far more use­ful and courageous.

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