Although most of the questions remained unanswered concerning the dark story of the sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia and the equally shadowy role of the middleman, we fully understood from yesterday’s parliamentary debate that the tight embrace of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his junior coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, will remain firm until the very end.
A flurry of documents pertaining to the affair was produced in parliament, but the question of why a middleman found himself involved in a government-to-government agreement remained unanswered.
Naturally, the debate featured the well known Tsipras-Kammenos leitmotif – blaming the controlled media, gangs, and journalists who serve their masters instead of the truth, which of course is one and only one, and emanates from the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion office.
For the Syriza-ANEL government, the role of the press is to accept indiscriminately whatever their propaganda dishes out, whatever their interests demand. Whoever does not agree with them and does not extol their deeds, however shady they may be, is targeted and labeled an enemy of the national interest.
Both the prime minister and his defense minister resorted to the tried and tested prescription of mudslinging, instead of answering the many questions that have arisen in a spate of press revelations on the curious role of this middleman with many masters.
Instead of concrete answers, we heard for the umpteenth time charges about Siemens, old arms deal kickbacks, tax evasion, and the Paradise Papers.
We never learned if the government-to-government agreement is still on the table, how many projectiles and bombs it involves, and why the government shooed away the Saudis.
We did learn, however, that the prime minister can cite classified documents, but that MPs are not entitled even to see them, obviously because they have a lesser sense of national conscience, and state secrets will be jeopardised.
The government’s chosen middleman, of course, can have access to military camps, to inspect military materiel, and to give orders for the production of bombs, but parliament is not allowed even to receive and file a classified document.
It is obvious that, despite the efforts of Messrs. Tsipras and Kammenos, this matter is not over. Whatever they do, whichever diversionary tactics they may marshal, this affair will continue to haunt them.
However much they may denounce the press and journalists, it would be well if they realize that there will always be some who do their job, bringing to light what those in power attempt to hide.
That is and always was the role of the press, however much they dislike it, however much it may not suit them.