ATHENS – Claims by Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos that “lady associates” of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are trying to “manipulate judicial officials” should be investigated, the major opposition New Democracy said and To Potami party said.
Kammenos was Defense Chief before yanking his tiny, pro-austerity, jingoistic party out of the coalition led by Tsipras’ Radical Left SYRIZA before quitting in objection to a deal that would see the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) changed to North Macedonia.
The agreement, which gives away the name of the ancient Greek province of Macedonia which abuts FYROM, would also see citizens of North Macedonia be called Macedonians, and have a Macedonian language, culture and identity.
To Potami, whose leader Stavros Theodorakis backed the FYROM name deal, said that Kammenos “pulled off the prime minister’s mask,” as the small centrist party also accused the government of “trying to control justice to direct the course of cases” and “blatantly abusing the separation on powers.”
Since he quit, Kammenos has been sniping at his former boss in the oddball partnership of the far-left and far-right that was formed when both parties reneged on anti-austerity promises and Tsipras needed ANEL’s seven votes to have a scant three-vote majority in Parliament.
In an announcement, the Conservatives said Kammenos’ claims, which he didn’t back up beyond throwing out vague accusations, confirmed its own suspicions that Tsipras and SYRIZA are trying to influence the courts. conservative party said that Kammenos’s comments in Parliament – that
Kammenos’ comments were seen as a shot at former Supreme Court chief Vassiliki Thanou, now the prime minister’s legal adviser, with the leader of Independent Greeks appearing to accuse her of steering investigations in the government’s favor, said the newspaper Kathimerini.
“This extremely serious allegation calls for an immediate judicial intervention,” New Democracy said. Since she left the court, Thanou has become a rabid champion for SYRIZA and Tsipras.
“Mr. Tsipras, who is in Parliament, cannot pretend he didn’t hear it or remain silent. He is called upon to explain what Mr Kammenos means, as is his erstwhile partner to divulge everything he knows,” the announcement added. There was no immediate response from Tsipras’ office.