Alexis Tsipras made quite a wide variety of statements in parliament yesterday, yet he assiduously avoided speaking about revelations regarding the role of a particular individual who has in recent days preoccupied the press, and that person’s relationship with the prime minister’s office.
Effectively, he avoided offering an explanation not to the press, but to Greek citizens, as is his duty.
Instead, he resorted to the familiar tactic that characterises his government, to attack the media that do not pledge allegiance to those in power.
Not only did he remain silent, but he also resorted to the method marshaled by political leaders who are not on the best of terms with democracy – accusing the media of fake news.
The image of the prime minister in parliament yesterday does not honour the office with which the citizenry entrusted him. The PM forgets that in democracies power is checked, and part of that process has been delegated to the press.
It is legitimate for the prime minister not to like revelations. It is undemocratic, however, to target particular media outlets, the same media which in the past government members attempted to control or even shut down.
Thankfully, Greece is not PM Viktor Orban’s Hungary, nor Erdogan’s Turkey. Yet that does not mean that the government’s annoyance does not embarrass the country.
Equally embarrassing is the PM’s stubborn silence on an issue about which he should have addressed at length.