Greece’s main opposition New Democracy Party issued a statement on Monday night accusing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of taking luxurious vacations during the summer of 2018, just ”a few days” after the deadly wildfires of Mati.
The center-right party notes that ”the shameless hypocrisy of Mr. Tsipras, who pretends to be fighting against the elites, while going on free vacations on their yachts, is unprecedented.”
Η ξεδιάντροπη υποκρισία κ. Τσίπρα που παριστάνει ότι πολεμά τις ελίτ και κάνει δωρεάν διακοπές με τα κότερά της δεν έχει προηγούμενο. Τον παραδίδουμε στη χλεύη του ελληνικού λαού. https://t.co/3oCbzvbjW6 pic.twitter.com/KPhrOvPvPj
— ΝΕΑ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ (@neademokratia) May 6, 2019
The issue sparked widespread political turmoil in Greece after Katerina Panagopoulou, the wife of the late tycoon Pericles Panagopoulos, admitted that they gave the family’s yacht to the Greek Prime Minister ”because he was tired.”
New Democracy charged that the Premier’s vacation on the yacht somewhere in the Ionian Sea took place ”a few days after the national tragedy of Mati.”
Speaking with interviewers from the Proto Thema website, Panagopoulou said that the use of the yacht was given to Tsipras in August, 2018, nearly one month after the deadly wildfires, and not “a few days after” them.
She also stated that her husband was indeed part of Greece’s elite, but ”of a different kind of elite; an elite of dignity, who gave jobs to thousands of people.”
”We admired Alexis Tsipras and we liked him. I personally have been cooperating with him for nearly three years now,” Panagopoulou noted.
Δηλ για να το πούμε απλά. Λίγες μέρες μετά την εθνική τραγωδία στο Μάτι, ενώ ακόμη καλά καλά δεν ξέραμε πόσους νεκρούς θρηνούσαμε, ο Αριστερός Πρωθυπουργός της Χώρας μας, πήρε μία Θαλαμηγό με το πλήρωμα και το υπηρετικό προσωπικό της, για μυστικές υπερπολυτελείς διακοπές…
— Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης (@AdonisGeorgiadi) May 6, 2019
In a tweet, the vice President of New Democracy accused Tsipras of ”super luxurious and secret vacations,” only a few days after the national tragedy of Mati, while the nation didn’t even know at that point exactly how many people had died in the wildfires.
The Greek government has not yet issued any comments on the controversy.