Friday October 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Judges get tough as Baltakos probe gets under way

Former government secretary general Takis Baltakos arrives at a prosecutor's office to give a testimony in Athens yesterday. Baltakos, a top aide to the Greek prime minister, resigned last week after a leaked video showed him suggesting the government had tried to press judges to jail lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party.

Panayiotis Baltakos, a former aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who resigned last week over a video showing him in conversation with the spokesman of neo-fascist Golden Dawn Ilias Kasidiaris, told a prosecutor Monday that he had no idea he was being filmed, as a top Supreme Court judge warned that anyone found to have made use of illegally acquired recordings would face immediate arrest.

Baltakos, who testified for two-and-a-half hours before prosecutor Calliope Dagianta as a witness, said the meeting with Kasidiaris had taken place “about six months ago” in his office in Parliament “with the doors open” and had not been secret. According to sources, the former aide reiterated that it had been his initiative to “have contact” with Golden Dawn in a bid to understand the workings of the neo-fascist party with the ultimate aim of drawing back old New Democracy voters. He suggested, however, that his stance had not harmed the conservative party or the government. “I did not reveal anything to them or give them information,” he said.

On leaving the prosecutor’s office, Baltakos sought to reiterate his allegiance to the conservative party, saying “I was, I am and I will always be ND.” According to sources, Baltakos also insisted during his testimony that Samaras had not been aware of his meetings with Golden Dawn cadres, much less ordered them. “The prime minister had Merkel and Barroso to deal with,” Baltakos was quoted as saying, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. “Should I have left him to deal with Kasidiaris too?”

Baltakos’s testimony is expected to lead to further charges being brought in the coming days against Kasidiaris, who already faces charges of setting up a criminal organization and illegal weapons possession.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani ordered Greek prosecutors to initiate proceedings for the immediate arrest of anyone found to have used illegally acquired footage. According to Koutzamani’s order, MPs found to have used such videos will face immediate arrest without the need for Parliament to vote to lift their immunity from prosecution.

Koutzamani issued the order in response to a request by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, asking her to investigate claims by the ultra-right party there are more secret videos.

In a development that appeared to be indirectly related, Failos Kranidiotis, a lawyer who is another close aide to Samaras, announced Monday that he would not be standing as a New Democracy candidate for European Parliament in May’s elections. Kranidiotis was elected to the conservative’s political committee last summer but has critics within ND and among opposition parties because of his strong nationalist views and hardline opinions on issues such as immigration. It was PASOK, the junior coalition partner, that sought his withdrawal however, Kathimerini understands.

“The agenda that our ideological opponents are trying to impose is to identify every nationalist voice with fascism, racism, the far-right and to make our party feel guilty about issues that have nothing to do with us,” Kranidiotis said.

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 7, 2014 (19:14)  
Greek private workers´ union calls 24-hour strike for November 27
Finance Minister appeals for support for amendments ahead of vote
Credit line only open to Greece if it meets economic targets, sources say
Venizelos slams Turkey for ´flagrant violation of international law´ off Cyprus
Tax revenues up by 1 bln euros in 2nd quarter, public sector wages down
Tax revenues increased by nearly 1 billion euros in the second quarter of this year, according to data released on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Friday while publi...
ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
The euro area’s biggest banks will show a 6 billion-euro ($7.6 billion) capital gap in the European Central Bank’s tests of the quality of their assets and ability to withstand economic shoc...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
BASKETBALL
Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
Panathinaikos’s unbeaten run in all competitions came an end on Thursday as the Greek champion lost 81-75 at Bayern Munich for the Euroleague. Bayern is a team that improves every year, and ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Tension for tension’s sake?
It is evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feeds off tension. He would barely have achieved as much as he has – and prevailed – if he had not been so keen to confront a series...
EDITORIAL
Testing ground
The Regional Authority of Attica is a good testing ground for politicians who appear to thrive on accusations to prove whether they can actually solve major problems of a practical nature. T...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Tax revenues up by 1 bln euros in 2nd quarter, public sector wages down
2. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
3. EU says Turkey´s energy hunt off Cyprus is a a ´serious concern´
4. Greek private workers´ union calls 24-hour strike for November 27
5. Finance Minister appeals for support for amendments ahead of vote
6. Credit line only open to Greece if it meets economic targets, sources say
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
3. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
4. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
5. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
6. Cyprus president to be released from hospital on Friday following readmission
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
6. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.