Sunday April 26, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The stench of dirty money

By Nikos Xydakis

The start of the wave of arrests of important businessmen and high-ranking Proton Bank executives coincided with the European Union decision to agree to the disbursement of the next tranche of bailout funding for Greece.

Under certain conditions, the arrests could contribute, at least on a symbolic level, to turning around the sense of defeat and despair that is weighing down society.

According to the official version of events, the arrest of Proton board members charged with issuing bad loans was conducted as swiftly as it was in order to avert the possibility that they would try to flee the country and escape justice. The main shareholder of the bank, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, was in fact ordered not to leave the country. Either way, the message being sent is that justice – albeit belatedly – works and is determined to bring about a catharsis. This message carries a good deal of weight with the beleaguered public by restoring a sense of justice, which has been seriously eroded in recent years.

The weak, the unemployed and the impoverished can begin to feel that justice will be done. This feeling, of course, does not make up for the very painful material losses they have suffered, but it does restore a sense of dignity on an intellectual level, and go some way toward mending their shaken faith in the country’s democratic institutions.

As such, and given that the process of catharsis is taken all the way, public sentiment toward the arrests proves that when a democracy’s institutions work as they should they strengthen morale and social cohesion.

On the other hand, the fact that the arrests took place now raises a number of other questions, such as why these awarded and much-lauded businessmen, these hyped-up managers, respected academics, media darlings and political cronies were able to lie, cheat and steal from their customers, their depositors, the state and society for so long without coming under the scrutiny of the Bank of Greece and the Ministry of Finance.

Did Greece need to be razed by the crisis in order for these crooks to be exposed – or sacrificed, maybe? Was everyone ignorant of their machinations before 2008? Couldn’t anyone smell the stench of dirty money?

The fact is that these questions must be answered for the catharsis to be complete, so maybe it’s also time for an investigation into the supervisory and monitoring mechanisms, into those who should have either been sharper at spotting the crimes or who failed to prosecute the offenders when they knew them to have dirty hands.

ekathimerini.com , Friday December 14, 2012 (21:38)  
Five years ago
Slippery slope
Something is changing on Cyprus
Harmful talk
FM warns against a lose-lose situation [Update]
Germany will have to decide whether it wants to support Greece or make an example of the SYRIZA-led administration, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Friday. “Do they want to support us...
PM tries to appease mayors, regional governors over cash bill
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met regional governors and mayors over the weekend in a bid to overcome their objections to a decision by the government forcing local authorities to hand over ...
Inside News
Construction material costs slide anew
The decline in oil rates has contributed to the further fall in construction material prices and the cost of building new residential properties, according to data released on Friday by the ...
Navios taps German shipping opportunities
The wide margin of difference between the health of Greek and German shipping is clearly illustrated by the deal for the sale of 14 oceangoing vessels by German bank HSH Nordbank AG debtor c...
Inside Business
WATER POLO
Olympiakos wins Euro crown in women´s water polo
The women’s water polo team of Olympiakos won its first ever LEN Euro League at the Final Four it hosted in Piraeus by beating holder Sabadell from Spain 10-9 in Saturday’s final. After defe...
SOCCER
Rival soccer fan clashes leave man stabbed
One man was stabbed and several others slightly injured as rival Thessaloniki club fans clashed late on Friday at an event held by Aris supporters. Reports from Greece’s second city stated t...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Olympiakos wins Euro crown in women´s water polo
2. FM warns against a lose-lose situation [Update]
3. PM tries to appease mayors, regional governors over cash bill
4. Poll: Large majority of Greeks want compromise with lenders
5. Police rescue 69 migrants from Evros River
6. Thessaloniki nanny denies abusing toddler
more news
Today
This Week
1. Five years ago
2. PM tries to appease mayors, regional governors over cash bill
3. Poll: Large majority of Greeks want compromise with lenders
4. FM warns against a lose-lose situation [Update]
5. Greece not playing a game of chicken on debt
6. Slippery slope
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. It's up to the Greek government to ensure deal with lenders, says ECB's Coeure
3. Europe's collision course with Greece
4. Leaving the past in the past
5. The price of compromise
6. Denialism
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.