ND accuses government of ‘defaming’ Greece

Conservative New Democracy has accused Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis of “defaming” the country.

“Yesterday in Rome, Mr Tsipras called Greece a corrupt country and today Mr Varoufakis called it a bankrupt [country],” ND spokesman Costas Karagounis said Wednesday.

He said the two had followed the example of former socialist prime minister George Papandreou in “defaming our nation.”

“[Their actions] will be judged by the people,” Karagounis added.

In an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper published Wednesday Varoufakis branded himself “the finance minister of a bankrupt country.” During a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome Tuesday, Tsipras blamed widespread corruption and entangled interests for the fact that the economic crisis had mostly affected Greece’s lower and middle classes.

Karagounis’s comments sparked a reaction from the SYRIZA-led government. In a statement Wednesday, spokesman Gavriil Sakelaridis said that criticism from New Democracy was a “provocation” for the Greek people.

“Those who rendered Greece a world leader in corruption and tax evasion should stay silent… Those who are responsible for the bankruptcy of Greek society should not be provocative,” he said.