NEWS

Government accsuses ND, SYRIZA of inciting protests

New Democracy and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) are responsible for a series of personal attacks on members of the government that are threatening to make it impossible for politicians to meet with members of the public, PASOK suggested on Tuesday.

Following the interruption on Sunday by Greek students of a film screening in Paris that was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos – the latest incident in which politicians have been confronted in public – government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis suggested that the two opposition parties were provoking such reaction.

?Some forces in SYRIZA are trying to create an atmosphere in which the government will be cut off from Greek citizens,? said Petalotis. ?But these actions are not limited to just one political grouping; New Democracy has used various methods, including the media, to stoke this kind of behavior.?

Petalotis suggested that high-ranking officials in both parties were involved in practices aimed at destabilizing the government.

?They often encourage or suggest that citizens should take the law into their own hands or engage in utterly populist acts.?

Both opposition parties dismissed the government?s claims that they were driving the protests.

In a low-key response, New Democracy said that it had always condemned violence. The head of the party?s political planning unit, Maximos Harakopoulos, said that the Conservatives would not make any exceptions to their objection to excessive protests, even if PASOK officials were the targets.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that the government was ?on the wrong track if it is trying to present spontaneous exasperation and criticism of its members as actions that are being incited by others.?