Leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has written to Parliament Speaker Evangelos Meimarakis demanding he allow a debate over a leaked video that showed a former top aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras alleging charges against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party were trumped up.
Former Cabinet Secretary Panayiotis Baltakos resigned over the affair after the tape showed him talking to Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, one of those arrested in his party on charges of running a criminal gang.
Tsipras noted that 25 days have passed since SYRIZA first asked for debate. Parliamentary rules dictate that a debate should be carried out within a month.
Accusing the government of “provocative and anti-democratic behavior,” he called on Meimarakis to set a date for a discussion before Parliament goes into recess ahead of local and European elections.
Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said there has already been “a broad-ranging public dialogue on the issue” and that the government has clarified its stance. There hasn’t, however, been a debate in Parliament as required.
It was unclear whether Meimarakis, a member of the New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, would ignore Tsipiras and parliamentary rules to avoid a debate ahead of the elections.
The secret videotape in which Baltakos also said the government tried to influence the judicial system to go after Golden Dawn so that New Democracy could get its votes is being investigated by a prosecutor.
The prosecutor, Calliope Dagianta, is to investigate the circumstances leading to the making of the video. Making and using an unlawful video is a crime subject to imprisonment.
After Baltakos said more damaging videos might emerge, the government has said it would prosecute anyone who releases any.
After it surfaced, Baltakos said he was acting as a secret agent to learn about Golden Dawn’s inner workings and that Samaras was unaware of what he was saying.
Baltakos said he lied to Kasidiaris to gain information from him but also said that he made claims about the government cracking down on the party because the extremists had “pressured” him.