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Politics

SYRIZA EU Lawmaker Candidate Wants New Democracy Ousted

ATHENS – A SYRIZA candidate for European Parliament in June elections said an investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s office into the 2023 deadly train crash in Greece should be the springboard to ending New Democracy’s reign.

The Conservatives, barring any snap elections ending in defeat, will be in power until 2027, but University of Piraeus Professor Nikolaos Farantouris said if it’s shown there’s a coverup that it should bring the end of New Democracy’s tenure.

“It would be a blessing if (the government) covers up scandals, or avoids shedding light on the case,” he said, referring to EU prosecutor Laura Kövesi saying the government is trying to obstruct her office’s investigation.

She had said that, “We are blocked from finding the truth and applying justice. Because if you are forbidden from doing the investigations, you cannot find out the truth,” also wanting immunity for ministers and lawmakers lifted.

The PASOK Socialists who have moved ahead of the major opposition in some polls have filed a No-Confidence motion in Parliament against New Democracy, which the Conservatives welcomed as they have a majority to defeat it.

Farantouris said it would be a “blessing” if the EU prosecutor’s office investigation could bring down the government, apparently hoping it would bring enough public outrage to spark an early election.

The government has denied covering up the causes of the crash although a New Democracy parliamentary panel report blamed human error, and a report by To Vima said audio recordings had been tampered with to make that jibe.

Farantouris is also SYRIZA’s policy advisor, the Leftists falling further out of favor after Greek-American businessman Stefanos Kasselakis took power, which saw dissidents break off and form their own party, the New Left.

“Laura Kövesi brought about the downfall of the Romanian government,” said Farantouris, pointing to her time as a prosecutor there where she was pushed out after investigating corruption and became the EU’s first chief prosecutor.

He said there were attempts  “to discredit her as an individual and the institution she represents,” but a spokesman for New Democracy, Nikos Romanos said his comments “confirmed that contempt for institutions and the undermining of democracy are intertwined with SYRIZA also under its new leadership.”

“Their sole concern regarding institutions is how to instrumentalize them to bring down the government, just as they previously sought to instrumentalize them to jail their political opponents while in power,” he said, calling for Farantouris to be removed from SYRIZA’s list of candidates.

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