Gov’t spokeswoman says bribery claims ‘badly-played charade,’ heralds legal action if evidence not produced

Responding to claims by Independent Greeks deputy Pavlos Haikalis on Friday that an unidentified individual tried to bribe him to vote in favor of the coalition’s candidate in the first round of presidential elections earlier this week, government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi called for any evidence backing the claims to be made public immediately and for legal action to be taken if the claims prove to be groundless.

“For reasons of public interest, any evidence should be revealed immediately,” she said. “If there is no evidence, then legal procedures should be launched against the perpetrators of this tawdry story,” she said, referring to “a badly-played charade” aimed at ensuring that a president is not appointed and the country goes to snap elections.

The spokeswoman also condemned “the swiftness” with which SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras adopted the claims.

Earlier, Tsipras said he believed the claims sounded “serious.”

In a separate statement, the junior coalition partner PASOK also called for the claims to be investigated, noting that failure to do so would “poison the country’s political life.”