Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos picked up the gauntlet today after New Democracy’s scathing statement about the alleged legal violations by the Diodos technical company, owned by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ brother and sister, Dimitris and Zanet.
In an interview with private ANT1 television, Tzanakopoulos said, “New Democracy issued a statement that literally should be examined by a criminal court. It was libelous and slanderous. It did this in order to plunge the political dialogue into darkness.”
Tzanakopoulos said that ND is in a difficult position due to the Novartis and KEELPNO (Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention) affairs, the problems faced by the wife of ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis due to her [allegedly false] statement of assets, and the fact that the newspaper Kyrikas Hanion [owned by the Mitsotakis family] has millions of euros in loans with unjustifiably favourable terms.
“They are attempting to create a sensation with fake news and allegations, with slanderous and unsubstantiated articles which [Mitsotakis] had announced in advance in parliament,” he said.
“In cooperation with a particular media group, ND is trying to sink the country into darkness,” the spokesman said.
Tzanakopoulos fended off ND criticism of a 250,000 euro loan, with exceedingly favourable terms, received by Diodos, and a fake certificate of up-to-date insurance payments.
“There is no improperly favourable loan arrangement with a six percent interest rate. An improperly favourable loan is the one given to Kyrikas Hanion, where Mr. Mitsotakis after eleven years of not paying a cent, made an arrangement whereby he would pay 3,000 euro instalments over two years, with the option after two or three years to supposedly pay off the last 614,000 euros of the loan. That is called a ‘balloon loan’ and is glaringly illegal,” Tzanakopoulos said.
He also answered charges that due to a law drafted by former Syriza justice minister Paraskevopoulos, a court judged that the case against the Tsipras family company cannot be tried. He said that the previous law regarding the possible misdemeanor charge was essentially the same as the one passed into law.
The third slanderous assertion, according to Tzanakopoulos is that the charge against the PM’s sibling’s company was changed by a court in 2015, when Alexis Tsipras was already PM. “The court had judged these issues in 2012, before the May elections and before Tsipras became main opposition leader,” he said.
“The fourth lie regards the alleged operation of the company of Tsipras’ siblings with public works. “From 2012 and from the time Mr. Tsipras became main opposition leader, his brother submitted his diploma when ND’s Notis Mitarakis was minister, and he has no link to the public sector,” Tzanakopoulos said.