Government spokesman Elias Mossialos on Thursday spoke about “indications of escalating political violence” and denied that the prime minister stated in his speech before the Cabinet a day earlier that “we are on the verge of a political diversion”.
Speaking at a regular press briefing, he noted that “we are talking about phenomena of political violence,” adding that the government does not wish to impose a specific agenda and that all issues are open and should be discussed within the framework of open parliamentary procedures.
“A calm, democratic, open parliamentary dialogue should not be intimidating,” he stressed and called on all political parties to present their positions on all those issues.
As regards SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance), in particular, he made it clear that it “is not extremist but democratic like any other political party represented in the Greek parliament. However, he called on its leadership, and not individual cadres, to take a specific stance in response to recent strong statements made by its youth movement.
The government spokesman repeated that “there is no good or bad violence” and called on all political powers to flatly condemn the phenomena of political violence.
Speaking earlier in the day in the state-run NET radio, Mossialos stated that the special cross-party parliamentary committee to be set up soon will deal with all aspects of violent acts.
He said that “the committee will meet for a limited time and its findings will focus on other issues as well, such as, demonstration organizing. The role of the police will be examined to ensure that they operate within the framework of the state laws and constitution. We will seek the consensus of the political parties to ensure unanimity as regards the actions the State should take.”
Responding to a question over a “Wall Street Journal” editorial this week, which expressed a positive opinion of proposals made by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, the government spokesman reminded that “for a year and a half, the same newspaper was arguing in favour of the country’s default.”
As regards the public utility companies and redundant personnel, he stated that “there are alternative solutions such as personnel transfers in the public sector, contract work, voluntary exodus, part-time employment. There is also the labour reserve option. We have ample time as regards labour reserve. The procedures followed will be based on meritocracy and objectivity and take place through the Supreme Council for Staff Selection (ASEP).”