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Saturday, May 14, 2005 

May the Best Cabbage Win

Well, he’s gone and done it again. Greek PM Costas Karamanlis has allowed yet another political fiasco to contaminate his government. After all his speeches and promises to clean up the corruption, kickbacks and inefficiencies encompassing Greek politics, he has decided to make matters worse by enabling a controversial decision which was to reward MPs who have lost their seats in re-election or to failed MPs trying to get elected. He wants to pay them all 3000 euros a month for the next two years to compensate for the fact that the citizens of Greece don’t want them in politics. Just as soon as the public was made aware of his plans, he agreed that it wasn't such a great idea and the decision was shelved for further debate. Why can’t the man just realize the futility and ultimate public insult of such ideas BEFORE he agrees to them? What is the method to his madness?

As I mentioned before, this is not the first time he’s come up with ridiculous political blunders. His self-hyped flagship law aimed at reducing corruption in awarding state contracts was uniformly shot down and criticised by the EU for not doing a thing to tackle corruption but to mask it. Anyone with an IQ of a cabbage can see that the root of the problem lies not just with companies who win the state contracts but more so with the officials who award the tenders.

Karamanlis also had the bright idea of making movie store owners handwrite receipts (this link is in Greek) for all their customers when renting and returning movies because he KNOWS they’re all stealing but he just somehow can’t figure out how so he decides more bureacracy is needed and penalizes all stores for the supposed actions of a few. This law, when put into effect, will most likely put a lot of people out of business. Would you wait for 20 minutes to rent a movie and another 20 minutes to return it so the clerks can write down your name, address, and movie rental details? Would you wait hours while 10 other people in front get theirs done first? No, of course not...you’ll pay the 5 euros for a pirated DVD. Well done, Karamanlis...put tax-paying movie stores out of business. Promote the piracy business and force movie store employees into the unemployment lineups.

I’d like to know just what he was doing as Leader of the Opposition for the 7 years preceding his election as PM. Did he not expect to get elected and therefore, had absolutely no viable restructuring plan ready for Greece? Or did he just think that whining about PASOK and digging up dirt on them would be a perfectly acceptable job description for himself for the next 4 years as PM?

If his political blunders didn’t have such serious consequences for Greek citizens, I’d think his election was some sort of new reality show...Survivor: Politics Island-Greece. We need to vote him off the island. Unfortunately, in Greece, there won't be a Survivor sequel since there aren't any new, competent candidates to take his place.

There's such a thing as competency?

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