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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-29

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Many things will be said here today, PM Tsipras tells MPs
  • [02] ND leader: Today's Greece is far from being a normal democracy

  • [01] Many things will be said here today, PM Tsipras tells MPs

    "A great many things, all together, will be said here today," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told MPs on Tuesday, as he launched an off-the-agenda debate on justice issues in Parliament.

    The prime minister accused main opposition New Democracy, acting on the pretext of a so-called revelation about a supposed government intervention in justice, of acting in close concert with some of the well-known media of corruption in order to create a hubbub and create false impressions.

    "This is not naivete but effrontery and arrogance...You did not even think that in this way, you would be opening Pandora's box yourselves," he said.

    Tsipras specifically highlighted the "notorious Papangelopoulos intervention" - relating to allegations that Alternate Minister for Corruption Dimitris Papangelopoulos had attempted to influence a prosecutor's handling of an investigation into the businessman Andreas Vgenopoulos. He noted that a disciplinary inquiry was already underway concerning the handling of the specific case, which involved major financial interests, and the actions or omissions that had resulted in three separate cases files being shelved.

    According to the prime minister, three questions naturally sprung to mind in connection with this affair and the minister's involvement.

    Firstly, whether the meeting for which Papangelopoulos stood accused of intervention had been requested by the minister or the public prosecutor. Secondly, why this case concerning the businessman Andreas Vgenopoulos was in the hands of Appeals Prosecutor Georgia Tsatani at all and why it had been removed from the prosecutors for corruption. Lastly, why it was that the Supreme Court deputy prosecutor had issued a document on April 22 stating that all corruption cases were the exclusive province of the corruption prosecutors, then on December 18 in the same year, the same person had issued a new document saying that the Vgenopoulos cases had been rightfully removed from the corruption prosecutors.

    "I ask you: is there not a very obvious legal contradiction here?" Tsipras said, noting that members of the opposition had also talked publicly of a cover-up in the specific case.

    He went on to announce that SYRIZA's Parliamentary group will table a proposal for a Parliamentary examining committee to carry out an in-depth investigation of loan agreements between banks, political parties and the media, whose final conclusions will be issued no later than the end of May.

    Tsipras stressed that the issue of shady loans given to political parties could not end "overnight" because the previous ND-PASOK coalition government had slipped through an amendment pardoning and giving immunity to all that gave them.

    [02] ND leader: Today's Greece is far from being a normal democracy

    Main opposition party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis slammed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday for government actions which he said violated the operation of Justice, during an off-the-agenda debate on justice issues in Parliament.

    Taking the podium after Tsipras, the leader of New Democracy (ND) said that in well-functioning democratic countries in Europe and the western world, everyone respects the principle of separation of powers and the full and complete independence of Justice, but this isn't the case in Greece.

    "Today's Greece Mr. Tsipras is far from being a normal democracy," he said. "You're not the accuser but the accused in this debate for the worst lies ever uttered by a prime minister."

    Mitsotakis went on to say that for Tsipras "the end justifies the means", adding that all he cares about is staying in power using any means available.

    He also mentioned press reports in certain newspapers and implied the prime minister has entered into "secret bargains" with publishers for positive media coverage. "Why does the opponent of vested interests meets secretly with a representative of vested interests? And why so many meetings? To tell him 'No'?" Mitsotakis asked.

    "You're a government in tatters. You want to criminalize political life," the ND leader added.

    He then criticized the "so-called humanism" of the Left, saying that it has "crumbled in the muds of Idomeni".

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