Editorial: The bribery cycle

The ongoing investigation into Mr. Karatzaferis’ involvement in off-shore companies, from which significant sums were…

Editorial: The bribery cycle | tovima.gr

The ongoing investigation into Mr. Karatzaferis’ involvement in off-shore companies, from which significant sums were circulated by arms dealers, if confirmed, demonstrates that the commission from weapons sales are far more widespread than what one could imagine.

It also reveals that the interest in “national” issues does not just stem from patriotism, but rather other, more mundane and selfish motives.

It is a fact that Mr. Karatzaferis personally and his party would express a special interest in the supplies of the armed forces. The interest was so pressing that on the 28th of April 2011 the National Defense Minister at the time, Mr. Venizelos, who is not in the habit of publicizing private conversations, was forced to public declare how Mr. Karatzaferis visited him and asked him to receive two submarines. He later made his MPs ask questions on the matter. It is also a fact that the LAOS leader more or less defended Mr. Tsohatzopoulos in Parliament and has also defended the off shore companies.

So where there is smoke there seems to be fire. There are too many coincidences, in conjunction with the extensive special interest in supply programs, to suggest that a political div is unfairly being targeted.

Let us hope that the ongoing investigation will shed light in this case and will reveal the responsibilities of those truly implicated. This bribery scourge, which appears to have flourished for many years in this sector, must finally come to an end.

At the same time though, a meaningful solution must be found for the farce that is the asset declaration of politicians. The insufficient inspections never reveal anything, the lack of transparency and the comparing financial conditions over time have rendered the asset declaration an unreliable paper chase.

It is the responsibility and duty of the politicians themselves, for their own protection and to safeguard their prestige and credibility, to establish an inspection framework that will not allow anyone to conceal illegally acquired assets.


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