Mr. Alexis Papachelas is a guest editorial writer to The Business Thinker. He is currently the Executive Editor of the long standing and highly respected daily Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”.
This editorial is also appearing in Kathimerini.
It’s good to know that when your country is in danger, there are still responsible people who care about it, who are willing to risk their reputation for it, and who can handle extremely delicate issues using skill and common sense.
These days I often hear state officials and ordinary people saying: “I wish previous governments had the quality of the current caretaker administration or some of the technocrats included in the Lucas Papademos administration.”
Indeed, the country is currently relying on a prime minister who has no previous political experience but is still managing to steward a nation that is treading along the edge of a cliff, as well as an energetic and pragmatic finance minister and an interior minister with good knowledge of the state apparatus and understanding of public security.
The question is this: Why don’t we see people like Panayiotis Pikrammenos, Giorgos Zannias, Yiannis Economou, Antonios Manitakis, Yiannis Stournaras, or Tassos Yiannitsis taking government posts unless they are in emergency or caretaker governments?
A first response would be that they would win no more than 2 percent if they ran as a party in the elections and they would not be elected if they were included on party tickets.
A different response would be because they would be snubbed by most mainstream TV networks because of low ratings.
A third explanation is that the traditional parties are highly allergic to such people; rather, they are treated with envy, disdain and, sometimes, fear.
It’s a pity that we never got a chance to see such a government. Papademos missed a historic opportunity as, in his attempt to keep the political parties happy, he ended up forming a government that was based on the desires of the politicians who backed him.
Will we ever get another chance? If the next prime minister fails to use such people in his government, it will be a sign that the political system intends to commit suicide.
It’s sad to have to put up with all those who systematically attack any serious individual who dares mess with public affairs without their approval or that of the party. They either want governments staffed with TV personalities so that they can get close to the political personnel or they are concerned about losing the lavish handouts by any party army that climbs to power.
It’s time we got serious.