On vested interests…

At first there was Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos. Thankfully, they left…

On vested interests… | tovima.gr
At first there was Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos. Thankfully, they left early and were not around long enough to also be “accused” of having vested interests.
The term “vested interests”, in our age, is attributed to Konstantinos Mitsotakis. The former New Democracy leader, when he sensed that he was loosing power as Prime Minister, started a campaign with “vested interests” being his main slogan. He referred to businessmen who were trying to assume public works. And he meant that certain (…former) friends fought him because he did not give in to their demands.
That is how the vested interests enriched “big interests”.
But who were the businessmen with the vested interests? Most of them were mostly unknown at the time.
It did not take long for post-war Greece to find its entrepreneurial stars. Bodosakis-Athanasiadis, Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos emerged as pioneering entrepreneurs, who soon also began leading divs in the public enterprises.
Onassis had the exclusive rights for aerial transportation in Greece. Niarchos, as a counterbalance, was given the Skaramangas refinery. A few years before, Bodosakis-Athanasiadis had acquired exclusivities for his weapons factory. Professor Stratis Andreadis followed, with the Emporiki Bank group that he set up.
These businessmen were instrumental in the development of the country. However, the relationship of all four with the public sector resulted in a velvet divorce and their businesses were acquired by the State. It was the time when private initiative was considered a disease and unionists became bosses of employees and tax-paying citizens, in the name of a peculiar socialist model.
With PASOK rising to power and the political principles of Andreas Papandreou proliferating, statism prevailed and new divs emerged in business. All political leaders invoke them, without naming them, to determine the enemies that are … interrupting their effort to govern,
“Big interests” and “vested interests” in particular are to blame for everything.
But nothing ends until the fat lady sings!
Stavros P. Psycharis
Originally published in the Sunday print edition
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