Over three months ago, on 28 May, a report in Ta Nea revealed that one of the government’s basic pre-electoral pledges, the establishment of university policing forces to avert lawless actions, would be postponed.

Two ministers and the then government spokesperson immediately denied the report, asserting that the announcement for the hiring of special guards was imminent and that they would be in place by September.

Hence, the next day our newspaper made a rendezvous to visit university campuses in September.

“We shall be there to ascertain with on-site reporting whether policemen will be present,” our regular Mikropolitikos column stated.

September has arrived, but the University Protection Groups did not keep the rendezvous.

Ta Nea on 6 September reported that universities will open without a police presence. The same day, the government spokesman was forced to concede that implementation of the plan has been postponed at least until December, due to delays in conducting the prerequisite special training.

The issue here is not whether the planned reform is right or wrong.

The issue is that all types of competent authorities in this country should at long last understand that when the press points out problems, they should not skirmish with it, but instead they should engage in earnest self-criticism.

The problems are understandable, and possibly justifiable.

What is not justifiable is for the view that criticism is voiced in bad faith to prevail, and for officials to respond with “easy denials”.

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