In a statement entitled “Comment on New Democracy”, issued after shipowner Vangelis Marinakis’ statement criticising government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, the Prime Minister’s office attempted to link the main opposition party to Marinakis.
The full statement of the Prime Minister’s office is as follows:
Shortly before the end of bailout memorandum trusteeship, and even as the country is rebounding, New Democracy, lacking any political argument, is marshaling the black front of slander, from fake reports and blackmail.
The aim of the black front is the restoration of the most degenerate version of the old political system – of oligarchy, vested interests, and clientelism.
Mr. Marinakis, with his statement yesterday, is emerging as the new leadership figure of that black front, the new political guide of New Democracy and Mr. Mitsotakis.
The dangerous thing for democracy and the rule of law is not the political clash, but rather the main opposition’s decision to identify itself with the slander, lies, and the orders of a businessman who is facing prosecution on drug trafficking charges.
For Mr. Mitsotakis’ New Democracy and Mr. Marinakis to invoke the principles of the rule of law, and to call on people to defend the principles of liberal democracy, is at least ironic.
In any event, we welcome them to the realm of the principles of the European Enlightenment.
New Democracy responds
In response, ND’s press office issued a statement entitled “The thief shouts to scare the homeowner”, in which it claims the government is in desperation over the prospect of losing power.
It recites a litany of alleged government scandals
“The grazing land as collateral for television broadcast licenses, the trips to Venezuela with off-shore specialists, the laws to benefit specific businessmen, the tax exemptions for electronic gambling barons, are just some of the works and days of Syriza vested interests,” the statement said, noting that the Association of Judges has accused the government of meddling in the judiciary.”
“Citizens know very well who has transactions with specific interests, trying to build their own regime.”
“As regards Mr. Marinakis, Mr. Tsipras must inform citizens how many times he met with him, and what exactly they discussed. Mr. Marinakis is obliged to publicly state what assistance he offered the government, as he maintained in his public letter.”
ND said the, “Talk of a ‘black front’ and democracy lessons from those who undermine it daily, violating fundamental principles of the rule of law, can only evoke pity.”
PM’s office counter-replies
Tsipras’ office replied with a litany of alleged scandals of New Democracy and asked who was funding the main opposition leader’s wife’s offshore in 2017.
The statement of the PM’s office also referred to Marinakis’ meetings with Tsipras. We understand their insistence on considering a meeting with the koumbaros of the Mitsotakis family and most prosecuted businessman almost a crime, but we repeat that what is important is not if the PM meets businessmen upon their request, but rather if he agrees to support them in order to secure the backing of their media,” the statement said.