by Nick Skrekas
Wall Street Journal
January 25, 2011
Greeks are furious with the latest parliamentary probe into political corruption that has again turned into something of a farce fit for a circus routine.
The probe felled a forest to produce 2,000 pages after 12 months of dithering that shed no light on where alleged bribes from Siemens went to in exchange for large and lucrative projects.
Are locals to believe Harry Potter made the alleged €100 million of the German conglomerate’s bribes to Greek players just vanish into thin air?
These so called parliamentary inquiries have historically never yielded any results since they are narrowly framed and devoid of substantive powers. Their reports usually generate more unanswered questions and are predictably quickly filed away to collect dust on the legislatures and judiciary shelves.
Typically, political powers then make their usual vows of being committed to getting to the absolute bottom of things - while in reality they breath a sign of relief in the hope everything will be quickly forgotten.
But times have changed and it’s no more business as usual in the old Hellenic Republic. Today citizens that are increasingly being asked to shoulder more unbearable austerity no longer have the memory span of ants for waste and corruption.