Mitsotakis slams gov’t, warns over pressure on judiciary

19 October 2016
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One day after Greece’s highest administrative court upheld appeals lodged by six television channels against a government auction of TV licenses, the conservative opposition on Wednesday slammed the SYRIZA-led administration suggesting it was resorting to dubious tactics in a bid to influence the judicial process.

“The country is witnessing an unprecedented institutional degeneration, democratic standards are being undermined,” New Democracy chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Parliament.

“The justice system is the last institutional barrier against the authoritarianism of the executive power,” Mitsotakis said.

Tuesday’s Council of State plenary session was reportedly marked by tension in the wake of media reports casting aspersions about the private life of a top judge and over a subsequent decision by authorities to investigate the judge based on those reports.

Sources indicated that many of the judges in attendance were furious about the reports, seeing them as a type of blackmail, an attempt to influence judges who are currently handling serious cases.

Earlier Tuesday, the union of judges and prosecutors hit out at media reports making lewd claims about a vice president of the Council of State.

The union referred to a “particularly disturbing phenomenon reminiscent of methods used by fascist regimes.” It also condemned a “new network of corruption” which, it said, included “the sensationalist press and financial and other interests.”

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