Greece ‘s major opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras said Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and Justice Minister Charalambos Athanasiou should be ousted after a top aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras allegedly charged in a secret videotape that they influenced judges to help a government crackdown against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
The two ministers denied the charges by New Democracy Cabinet Secretary Panayiotis Baltakos, who was seen talking to Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris on the tape.
Baltakos resigned and said he made up the accusations to appease the extremists who complained they were victims of political persecution with the arrests of party leaders on charges of running a criminal gang.
Tsipras said he was “shocked” with the revelations of the Baltakos-Kasidiaris discussion and said the Samaras bears some blame and responsibility and demanded the premier provide an explanation.
He said he was “shocked” with the revelations of the Baltakos-Kasidiaris discussion and demanded Samaras give an accounting as well, suggesting that there were ties between some New Democracy elements and Golden Dawn. SYRIZA also accused Samaras of being “personally responsible” for Baltakos.
The leftists also called on the government to clarify whether it had attempted to influence the judicial process.
Gov’t appoints new cabinet secretary
Supreme Court judge Fotis Kaimenakis was appointed cabinet secretary on Thursday, the Greek government announced.