The SYRIZA candidate for the municipality of Athens Gabriel Sakellaridis was invited to SKAI’s morning news show, where he responded to a number of controversial claims posed by New Democracy’s candidate Aris Spiliotopoulos.
Mr. Sakellaridis stated that his opponent has adopted an agenda similar to that of the conservative, populist right-wing party LAOS in 2012. Furthermore, Mr. Sakellaridis accused the ND candidate for focusing on issues that are under way (such as the mosque) and refuses to address important issues, such as the operation of the municipality’s social structures.
Regarding Mr. Spiliotopoulos’ comments that a mosque in Athens would “attract illegal immigrants”, Mr. Sakellaridis noted that at present hundreds of unofficial mosques are currently operating in Athens and as such an official temple would improve the situation and solve many problems. The SYRIZA candidate stressed that “even the Archbishop himself speaks about their need to exercise their religious duties”.
As for illicit trade, Mr. Sakellaridis claimed that the police operations were ineffective and that the focus should shift on inspecting huge warehouses in Athens to offer greater support to the country’s customs services.