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  • Editorial: The detestable trade in MPs, votes

    Second and third-class individuals without substance, without principles, and with obvious deficiencies jump from party to party and from parliamentary group to parliamentary group out of pure self-interest.

    Ο πρωθυπουργός Αλέξης Τσίπρας παρίσταται στην ολομέλεια της Βουλής στη συζήτηση και ψηφοφορία για το πρωτόκολλο ένταξης της πΓΔΜ στο ΝΑΤΟ, Παρασκευή 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2019. ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/ΟΡΕΣΤΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΟΥ

    The image of Parliament over the last days is absolutely disheartening and reflective of the political crisis that has beset the country.

    The representatives of the people, deserted and faceless as the poet says, bargaining in a provocative manner through mutual blackmail for position and votes.

    Second and third-class individuals without substance, without principles, and with obvious deficiencies jump from party to party and from parliamentary group to parliamentary group with their career interests as the only motive.
    Indeed, they do not hesitate to argue audaciously in defence of their choices as if they have no clue about the conditions and intensely unfavorable impressions that they convey to Greek society.

    What is worse, the “trading” MPs have been hand-picked. They were either elected on a ticket drafted by the party leader or were elected with very few votes, in a procedure that is tantamount to an informal appointment rather than a popular mandate.

    Citizens are looking on with surprise and disgust for this incredible horse trading that breeds the heaviest sentiments about our form of government and their representation. Undoubtedly, through their actions and public appearances these MPs provoke citizens, degrade democracy, and sink the institutional functions of the country.

    Unfortunately, through this parliamentary horse trading the political time of an exhausted government has been extended and its problematical electoral plans are being bolstered.

    The Prime Minister is buying political time to organise the upcoming campaign and cultivate false hopes, not considering the dangers of again receding into crisis. If that happens, it would jeopardise the untold sacrifices over nearly a decade of the Greek people.

    The common conviction is that these days, based on this unprecedented, evolving political trading, what is being set up is a game of impressions and of influencing consciences ahead of the coming elections.

    An indicative case is that of non-performing loans and the updating of the Katseli law which conditionally protects debtors’ primary residences from foreclosure.

    Sources say that the plan sent by the government to Brussels for evaluation will cover both those with mortgages and those who put up their house as collateral for a business loan.

    The aim is obvious – to cultivate excessive expectations among hundreds of thousands of delinquent debtors. “Vote for us to save your home,” the PM will proclaim shamelessly in his campaign stump speeches.

    If it is generalised, any arrangement to expand protection of primary residences jeopardises the agreed upon target of cleaning up commercial banks and threatens to torpedo the management of non-performing loans (NPLs).

    Without a timely resolution of NPLs the country cannot transcend the crisis and will instead sink again into a perpetual cycle of huge efforts and sacrifices.

    Essentially, one is rapidly moving from a repugnant and immoral trade in MPs to an even more immoral and dangerous trade in votes.

    The one unfortunately succeeds the other, in a continually mushrooming chain of wear and scorn for everything.

    That is why both must be publicly repudiated.

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