It’s no secret that the government, and the PM’s inner circle in particular, are always attempting to take advantage of events for communicative purposes, but this time they went a little too far.
The PM visited an air-force base squadron in Larisa, chatted with the pilots, and then got on the plane; with some amount of difficulty, put on his helmet and flew an F-16 airplane over the Aegean.
The two intriguing parts of the “show” were that the plane carried with it the camera of public broadcaster ERT, and had “Alexis Tsipras” carved below its wings – Top Gun style.
If those weren’t enough to persuade viewers that the whole thing was a communication gimmick, the prime minister’s office released the video afterwards, along with a non-paper saying: “Is the PM really flying? Well, that’s the answer to any journalist wondering about his schedule today”.
This kind of show is right out of junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos’ communication playbook. The Defence minister is notorious for his self-proclaimed war plane flying abilities – and he rarely resists an opportunity to have them captured on film…