Still reeling from the political backlash of last month’s devastating wildfires, the government is reportedly seeking to shift the focus of attention to Greece’s official exit from its bailout program next week.
According to reports, senior government officials are still mulling ways to make the most of the bailout exit without pushing for a festive atmosphere – as had been the initial plan before the wildfire that left 95 dead and charges of government failings emerged.
However, the government’s narrative of brighter days ahead is also being further compromised by the crisis in neighboring Turkey, whose impact on Greece remains to be seen.
What is certain is that the rise in yields on Greek 10-year bonds will not allow Greece to access international markets in the immediate future.
Meanwhile, opposition New Democracy has charged that the government is trying to divert attention from the fire by using fake news to smear conservative party members.
More specifically, conservatives say the government is behind the re-emergence of a story from 2014 that alleged a teacher at Athens College, a private school in Psychico, had been transferred after the son of former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras was caught cheating in an exam.
Moreover, a report in the right-leaning Eleftheros Typos newspaper claimed that the government had issued directives to SYRIZA sympathizers to troll New Democracy vice president Adonis Georgiadis.
The smear campaign against New Democracy was also taken up Nikos Karanikas, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said in a Facebook post that conservatives were linked to drug peddling and tax evaders.