The political management of the Novartis scandal was, by general consensus, miserable and deeply divisive.
This last Wednesday in parliament, we witnessed the conduct of a clearly criminal law procedure, with obviously political ulterior motives and targets.
Top-level political figures – two former prime ministers and eight ex-ministers – find themselves facing extremely weighty charges, which bring great dishonour, but which are dubious and largely undocumented.
All that has entered the public realm until now is clearly problematical, and in any event indefensible, as it is largely based on hypotheses, impressions, and assessments of three unknown, protected witnesses, rather than on truly corroborated events and incidents.
It is not by chance that those who were inspired to subject to a preliminary criminal investigation ten politicians, assiduously avoided, during parliamentary debate, to cite specific charges.
The prime minister himself was content to speak about specific political responsibilities that have not been assumed, rather than about anything else. He set aside all other aspects of the case, which he referred to the judiciary.
The atmosphere around parliament was also anxious, and the stance of all ruling party MPs appeared fraught with guilt. Most left-wing MPs were unable to shoulder the charges put forth by many parties regarding the criminalisation of political life.
The historical experience of the left, even in the recent post-junta period, is traumatic. It has yet to come to terms with its participation in the so-called “cleansing” of 1989.
On the contrary, many are burdened by, and everyone recalls, that operation, which was based on false witnesses, and ended up “dirty” for those who were considered the “archangels” of a clean hands operation.
The parliamentary procedure last Thursday, mutatis mutandis, was reminiscent of that “dirty” 1989.
Still, the damage has been done. Those cited in the court files already bear the stigma of dishonour. The political system confronts a deep, almost unbridgeable divide.
The unfortunate thing is that all this occurred in a period that for the nation is critical, in a transitional period, in a distinctly dangerous period.
Greece, and its deeply divided political system, is called upon to take crucial decisions, which cannot be taken without consensus, and an understanding between the main political forces.
The resolution of the “Macedonian” issue, settling relations with Albania, management of Turkish aggressiveness and claims in the Aegean and Cyprus, and managing to secure an exit from the crisis, all demand at least good will and a sound basis for dialogue.
As of last Wednesday’s parliamentary debate, any existing good will was lost, and the bridges of dialogue, which had been maintained with much effort, were destroyed.
Nothing in politics is indifferent. Every action and choice has its repercussions.
That is why conducting politics requires measure, as well as second and third thoughts.
For the time being, all measure has been lost.