A non-is­sue is be­com­ing a big is­sue

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PANTELIS BOUKALAS

1989. It is ex­actly as old as the tele­vi­sion broad­cast­ing mess in Greece, which the Coun­cil of State de­scribed in 2010 as be­ing in vi­o­la­tion of the prin­ci­ples of a law-abid­ing state and dam­ag­ing to the pub­lic in­ter­est. And it is dam­ag­ing not just fi­nan­cially but fore­most in terms of morals and val­ues. Ex­clud­ing peo­ple whose job it is to fol­low de­vel­op­ments in the me­dia, there are prob­a­bly not that many peo­ple who can name the ESR’s first pres­i­dent off the top off their head (ad­min­is­tra­tive law pro­fes­sor Pro­dro­mos Dag­toglou) or its last one (for­mer Supreme Court vice pres­i­dent Ioan­nis Laskaridis, who gov­erned the agency un­til it was dis­banded 13 months ago). This mem­ory vac­uum is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. If the heads of such in­sti­tu­tional agen­cies choose not to be po­lit­i­cal in the sense of af­fil­i­at­ing them­selves with a spe­cific party, and if they have no am­bi­tion to in­vest in the au­thor­ity they have been given in or­der to build a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer and in­stead choose to simply do the job as­signed to them, then it comes as no sur­prise that they go un­no­ticed. Rec­og­niz­abil­ity is not acheived with a quiet life. Now Vy­ron Poly­do­ras has no such prob­lem, even though few may re­mem­ber the name of the po­lit­i­cal party he founded in Fe­bru­ary (for the record, Union for the Home­land and the Peo­ple). In his case, fail­ure in a suc­ces­sion of posts has simply added to his rec­og­niz­abil­ity. His nu­mer­ous ver­bal gaffes give the im­age not of lit­er­ary prow­ess, as he would say, but of a cer­tain right-wing pro­cliv­ity. And it is pre­cisely be­cause of this that his se­lec­tion (later with­drawn) as head of the ESR did not rep­re­sent a mark against the New Democ­racy party, as those who chose him as­sumed, but against SYRIZA it­self. If the snap elec­tions of Jan­uary 2015 were prompted by the elec­tion for a new pres­i­dent, then to­day they may be forced by the is­sue of the new ESR pres­i­dent.

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