Former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras has filed a suit against current Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, accusing him of being behind a plot to tarnish opposition politicians by implicating them in the Novartis bribery claims.
“Today, I am filing a suit against the prime minister,” Samaras said in a statement on Thursday. “He is responsible for the horrible conspiracy that is being put together. It has been so badly designed that it is falling apart on its own.”
Samaras argued that the government rushed to bring forward allegations that 10 politicians accepted bribes from the Swiss pharmaceutical firm, noting that the case file was sent by anti-corruption prosecutors to Parliament a day after a large protest in Athens over the Macedonia name issue.
“At a time when Greece is facing major challenges and threats, they are trying to defame their opponents with lies and to divide the Greek people,” added Samaras, who argued that he is also taking a stand because of the dangerous precedent set by the use of protected witnesses.
“In the future, every new government will be able to use coached informants to do away with its political opponents,” he said, while accusing Tsipras of trying to adopt the tactics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Samaras, who was prime minister between June 2012 and January 2015, argued that his government had fought against corruption in the healthcare sector and managed to reduce spending on medicines. He accused Tsipras and SYRIZA of opposing the efforts of the New Democracy-led coalition.