ND leader hoping to organise new ‘1965-style’ defection, Tzanakopoulos says

The government has in recent days been the target of “an organised intimidation plan and thuggish attacks on MPs and government members by fringe right-wing groups and organised provocateurs,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Wednesday.

“The attacks are incited and supported by oligarchic business interests and a section of the tabloid far-right press,” he added. The latest incidents, he added, came in the wake of the attack on Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the “Fascist rant” by the former Golden Dawn MP Costantinos Barbaroussis in Parliament.

He accused main opposition New Democracy of not showing the same sensitivity to these expressions of violence that it had shown in other cases and hesitating to condemn them outright, “legitimising and providing political coverage to these practices”.

The spokesman also accused ND’s leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of turning his party “into the tail of Golden Dawn” and something far removed from the moderate centre right.

“In this way, he thinks he will organise a new 1965, a new defection,” Tzanakopoulos noted, referring to a historical defection in Greece that involved Mitsotakis’ father, Constantine Mitsotakis, and toppled the then government. “He underestimates the democratic reflexes of the Greek people and the government’s determination,” he added.