It has never before happened in Greek political history to have an outgoing minister shaping policy – and indeed on such a major issue as extending territorial waters to 12 nautical miles – as ex-foreign minister Nikos Kotzias did on the day that he handed over his portfolio to his successor, who in this case is PM Alexis Tsipras.
That demonstrated that national issues are far too serious to be left to people who conduct politics based on their personal bitterness or other internal travails.
The responsibility does not belong solely to the minister who committed this dangerous impropriety.
The prime minister is also responsible for entrusting crucial areas of government policy to people who managed public interests based on their personal interest, with an unprecedented Napoleonic stance.
From the Parliament Speaker who transformed the legislature into a prosecutor’s office with herself as chief prosecutor, to the unforgettable finance minister who offered economic lessons to the Eurogroup, and the junior coalition partner who donned the uniform of a military Marshal, the prime minister with his choices fashioned a power system comprised on small Napoleons.
The consequences were apparent fairly early on. Institutions were degraded, the banks shut down, and the ghosts of war-mongering nationalism hovered over the Aegean.
With his imprudent stance, the former foreign minister contributed to this dangerous mix.
History has taught us where Napoleons lead, especially small Napoleons.