Those attempting to implicate him in the Novartis scandal would not be allowed to get away with it, former Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras said in an interview with the newspaper “Parapolitika” published on Saturday, claiming that the entire case was “fabricated” and a “frame-up”.
“If this frame-up is allowed to pass no one will dare to touch corruption in the future…the worst thing is that they accuse us, who were responsible for ending the ‘party’ of corruption in pharmaceuticals,” he said, asserting that the current government had then supported the interests of big pharma and tried to prevent measures to rein in corruption that had save 3.0 billion euros.
“Do you know what message that sends: that any politician that tries to touch corruption in the future will find himself in trouble. This is a terrorist message, I will not let them get away with it,” Samaras said, adding that everything about “this frame and who took part in this gang will be uncovered…I will take this all the way”.
During the interview, he expressed his conviction that Greece could have avoided many austerity measures and gained access to the markets as early as 2015, supported by a precautionary credit line, if the country had not held elections in that year.
He also suggested that there should be a parliamentary inquiry into the first six months of the SYRIZA government in 2015, which he called “nightmarish,” and how Greece was forced to impose capital controls.
“This was not just minor damage. All the previous governments, for 40 years, had saddled Greece with 317 billion euros in debt. The Tsipras government, in just six months, managed to cost [Greece] another 100 billion euros at least!” he claimed.
Among others, he defended his decision to shut down the state broadcaster ERT, noting that he had replaced it with NERIT that very quickly and achieved almost triple the audience ratings at half the cost.
“The tragicomic state of the new ERT opened by SYRIZA, which nobody watches, is proof of how right I was,” he added, while also attacking the government’s record on migration and its handling of the FYROM name dispute and domestic issues.