Minister blames left for rise of far-right

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis indicated on Friday that the Greek left was to blame for the rise of far-right parties ahead of elections.

In a series of messages posted on his Twitter account, Chrysochoidis lashed out at the left and at the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, in particular.

“The positions of Mr. Tsipras lead to absolute inertia and, subsequently, to the fascistization of society,» the minister said without elaborating. In another message, Chrysochoidis blamed the views of Tsipras for «leading society in the hands of Chrysi Avgi,» referring to the extreme right group which is polling far above the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.

SYRIZA has a very liberal stance on undocumented immigrants in Greece, who have been targeted in attacks as intolerance rise, while Tsipras has been accused of encouraging civil disobedience movements by several ministers.

Chrysochoidis indicated that he did not believe SYRIZA was exclusively to blame. «The left must assume its responsibilities for the rise of the far-right in our country,» he wrote.

The minister’s comments came shortly after Tsipras described Chrysochoidis as a «political conman» and condemned him for switching his focus to immigration in the countdown to general elections in a bid to distract from his earlier admission to not having read the text of Greece’s debt deal with foreign creditors.