ATHENS — "Today is a day of shame for the government, for parliament and the prime minister," main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, addressing a plenary parliamentary session discussing whether to indict former minister Nikos Pappas for breach of duty in connection with a 2016 tender to award licences for nationwide television channels.
Tsipras launched an all-out and personal attack on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying it was "a day of shame for a prime minister that has built his political career on divisiveness, personal attacks and the character assassination of his political opponents."
Tsipras criticised Mitsotakis' attitude in the past and present, from "the battle against the creditors to the rallies for the supposedly treasonous Prespa Agreement that he now states that he honours…to the lies and filth regarding his political opponents, even obscene lies that tarnish the memory of people no longer living to reply, such as the ones about my father."
He noted the prime minister's absence from parliament and accused him of political cowardice, "but also an admission of his political defeat regarding the preliminary parliamentary investigation. For the first time in history, the ruling majority is forced into a humiliating admission that there is no evidence to support the main charge for which it is attempting to send its political opponent to trial," Tsipras said, referring to the decision to drop charges of bribery against Pappas.
The main opposition leader also accused the government and prime minister of "failing pitifully" in the management of the pandemic, "which is why he is now hiding behind national addresses and divisive tricks".
"I will not follow the slippery path of Mr. Mitsotakis. I am here to unite not to divide," Tsipras concluded.