The ‘oth­ers’ did not do the same

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ANGELOS STANGOS

Re­cently, when­ever gov­ern­ment law­mak­ers have found them­selves un­der pres­sure dur­ing their rare ap­pear­ances on ra­dio or tele­vi­sion pro­grams, the only thing they have seemed ca­pa­ble of do­ing is blam­ing their pre­de­ces­sors, say­ing, “The oth­ers be­fore us did the same thing,” or some­thing along those lines. Well, the “oth­ers” did not do the same. The “oth­ers” never reached this level of cyn­i­cism, dis­hon­esty and ob­ses­sion with es­tab­lish­ing a regime the way rul­ing SYRIZA – along with its ju­nior coali­tion part­ner In­de­pen­dent Greeks (ANEL) – has in order to get into power and re­main in power. How the left­ists per­ceive that power has re­ally shown it­self with the ap­point­ment of Ste­lios Pap­pas as CEO of the Thes­sa­loniki Ur­ban Trans­port Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OASTH), an or­ga­ni­za­tion which is cur­rently be­ing na­tion­al­ized. With the ap­proval of Trans­port Min­is­ter Chris­tos Spirtzis, they’ve given a state job to a SYRIZA party cadre, who is the fa­ther of Dig­i­tal Pol­icy Min­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas, a man who has dis­tin­guished him­self for fight­ing hard in de­fense of his party on TV and ra­dio pro­grams. No one has done this in the past, let alone un­der the guise of pre­sid­ing over his­toric changes for the bet­ter. Re­spond­ing to the in­evitable crit­i­cism that fol­lowed this ap­point­ment, Spirtzis, a close friend of Nikos Pap­pas and wit­ness in the tri­als of var­i­ous mem­bers of the “I won’t pay” move­ment, said Ste­lios Pap­pas is a skilled econ­o­mist (we have no idea where he gets this no­tion from) and will of­fer his ser­vices with­out pay – as if that’s the prob­lem and not the fact that he’s the fa­ther of a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, not to men­tion the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the state with the party. In his state­ments, the newly ap­pointed head of the trans­port or­ga­ni­za­tion of Greece’s sec­ond largest city said he will go wher­ever the party sends him. He is clearly a good sol­dier, es­pe­cially when it comes to his vol­un­teer ef­forts. It is clear that a regime-cen­tered mind-set re­mains strong among left­ist party in­sid­ers. Oth­er­wise they wouldn’t dare to go ahead with such a provoca­tive move with­out a shred of re­morse or shame. It’s be­com­ing more than ap­par­ent that Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and those around him have no qualms about tak­ing their ac­tions to the ex­tremes as the next elec­tions – and the pre-elec­tion pe­riod we have to get through be­fore then – get closer. Be­tween now and the next elec­tions we can ex­pect to see more un­prece­dented moves by this gov­ern­ment. The oth­ers who pre­ceded them did not do the same things. Pe­riod.

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