By Spiros Sideris – Athens
The political earthquake that was caused by the revelation of the dialogues between the Secretary General of the cabinet, Takis Baltakos, with the Golden Dawn MP Elias Kasidiaris, in which he seemed to agree that there was no evidence to prosecute the far-right party and that the remand of its members were “rigged” in order for New Democracy (ND), to stop the leakage of voters to the party by Mr Michaloliakos.
Papandreou: “It is not enough to remove Baltakos, PASOK must leave the coalition government”
In a shock statement intended to destabilize the government and PASOK, the former prime minister, George Papandreou, characterizes “a family affair of the ‘Right'” the issue with Baltakos and basically urges PASOK to leave the government claiming “how can it be possible, after these revelations, the government cooperation to work for the benefit of the country and the Greeks?”.
Statement “bomb” from Tsoukali: Baltakos was telling us that they were going to govern even with the Golden Dawn (HA).
At the same time, like a bomb exploded the news of the MP of the Democratic Left (DIMAR), Nikos Tsoukalos, who revealed that last June Panagiotis Baltakos had told him that if PASOK and DIMAR did not withdraw the bill, which sought to remove the legislative act which closed the Greek National Television (ERT), the ND would have remained in power with the support of the Golden Dawn.
Athanasiou insists: There was no intervention in the prosecution of HA; I will not resign
An assertive refutation of all those alleged to have been said by the resigning Secretary General of the government, Panagiotis Baltakos, concerning the prime minister’s displeasure with the fact that the Golden Dawn MPs had not been remanded and the subsequent intervention of the ministers of Justice and Public Order in the prosecutions, was made by the minister for Justice Harris Athanasiou.
Mr. Athanasios stressed that the guidelines from Antonis Samaras from the early days of the prosecution were that there would be no government intervention in the investigative and judicial work, to ensure the functioning of the rule of law .
Answering the leader of the main opposition, Alexis Tsipra’s, call to resign from his post, the minister of Justice made it clear he sees any reason to resign, leaving any such decision to the Prime Minister .
SYRIZA: “Samaras personally accountable in the Baltakos case”
“Mr. Samaras is personally accountable for the whole thing”, said SYRIZA in a statement on the Baltakos – Kasidiari case and continues, “the guilty silence of the government is indicative of its heavy responsibilities, regarding the handling of the Golden Dawn, and the underground relations of government officials with the Nazi parison”.
It should however be noted that SYRIZA moves rather carefully at this stage and does not put forth an issue of the Prime Minister resigning from his post, but simply asks for the resignation of the two ministers, Mr Dendias and Mr Athanasiou, who were named by Mr. Baltakos in the conversation with Elias Kasidiari .
Baltakos has set the Maximou Palace on “fire”
Maximou is furious with the former cabinet secretary, who has betrayed the prime minister’s trust and making him lose face. The prime minister’s associates said that Mr. Baltakos had no reason conversing with members of the Golden Dawn, and what’s more acting as their defender and making speculations on the actions of the prime minister and the ministers of which he was not even aware of.
They insist that the Golden Dawn friendly behavior shown by Baltakos is not government policy, while reminding that Mr. Samaras is the one who is seeking out the uprooting of the fascist phenomenon from the country.
Mandate to Dendias and Athanasiou to respond
The Maximou Palace has kept a low profile regarding Mr Baltakos implicit dismissal from the position of secretary of the cabinet .
Instead they have instructed the two ministers responsible, Nikos Dendias and Charalambos Athanasiou to defend the essence of the case and “shoot down” the speculations by members of the Golden Dawn about a rigged prosecution.
The more than 30 criminal offenses cases are a reality, Nikos Dendias has said. There was no interference with the administration of justice, Mr. Athanasios confirmed in an interview. It is expected from the persecuted members of the Golden Dawn to seek an outlet to political persecution, but this has no credibility, says he government.
Why Kasidiaris kept the video a secret for six months
Mr. Kasidiaris published the video with a six-month delay waiting for the right moment for a political exploitation, but also in an attempt to prevent his prosecution and possible remand. However, the head of the Misdemeanors Prosecutor, Ms. Panagiota Fakou, asked for the material of the conversation, as its disclosure constitutes “personal data breach to a felony degree”. Mr Kasidiaris will most likely be prosecuted under Article 370 1st & 2 of the Penal Code for theft and use of wiretap material.
The case, however, had political side effects. First, it overshadowed the informal meeting of the Eurogroup and the good news the government considers to have resulted for the country .
In addition, it directly affects the government in two ways. In principle it leaves it exposed to accusation from the Left, for their selective relations with the far Right, since it has been tolerating someone like Mr. Baltakos, who for a prolonged period of time did not hide his political preferences, either by proposing a cooperation between the New Democracy and the Golden Dawn – before the arrests – either by stating he is a sworn anti-communist.
Most importantly, it will once again reinforce the Golden Dawn, the sympathizers and voters of which had started to become disillusioned after the revelations concerning their criminal action. They, however, now have the conscience excuse to once again vote for the fascist parison. Of course, these are voters who are mostly coming from the ND, a fact that is expected to be depicted in the forthcoming opinion polls.