Magazine article The Spectator

Turning a Blind Eye

Magazine article The Spectator

Turning a Blind Eye

Article excerpt

Last week Greek terrorists murdered yet another Greek businessman, Costis Peratikos, father of three. A poll taken immediately after the foul killing revealed that not a small number of Greeks sympathised with the assassins. Need I say more about my birthplace?

The victim was a ship owner who had bought a bankrupt shipyard off the state. (I knew him and his family well.) When he resisted outrageous union demands - the very same demands that had bankrupted the yard and forced the state to put it on the block - he became a marked man for the cowards that go by the name 17 November. (They have murdered more than 20 business leaders and nobody has ever been caught.)

In other words, the government nationalises a profitable business, runs it into the ground, sells it back to a private individual and the innocent later pays the piper. Two men are indirectly responsible for the murder, Constantine Karamanlis, ex-prime minister and president, and Costas Simitis, the present premier.

Karamanlis first left Greece in 1964 after an electoral defeat. He remained in Paris for ten years and returned after the collapse of the junta in 1974. He immediately went after businessmen who he felt had not been loyal to him while in exile. He nationalised the above mentioned shipyard for no other reason than his personal animosity towards the then owner.

The present PM, Costas Simitis, a socialist, sold the shipyard and then washed his hands of it once the unfortunate Peratikos began negotiations with the unions. Who are the 17 November killers? Easy. They began as anti-junta elements during the late Sixties and early Seventies. Some of them eventually went into government with Andreas Papandreou, others remained outside the law fighting against `Western decadence'. The Papandreou socialists, who have ruled for the last 17 years except for two, knew who they were but refused to do anything about it. It was a case of turning a blind eye. Better yet, it's like Sinn Fein pretending not to know who the IRA killers are.

Ironically, the two countries that have benefited the most from EU munificence - i.e. your taxes and mine - are Ireland and Greece, both of which turn a blind eye to terrorism and illegality. …

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