Coalition, ND ready to clash over corruption

Coalition, ND ready to clash over corruption

The government reiterated Thursday that fighting corruption is one of its five priorities, but the left-led coalition is set to come under increasing pressure Friday from New Democracy over the conversations that Defense Minister Panos Kammenos had with a convicted drug smuggler.

During Thursday’s press briefing, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that the coalition wants to focus on combatting “the corruption and entangled interests that have skewed political and economic life.”

His comments came ahead of Friday's parliamentary debate on whether an inquiry should be launched to investigate Kammenos’s alleged intervention in the Noor 1 heroin case. New Democracy highlighted the issue Thursday, as party spokesman Vassilis Kikilias, speaking on Skai TV, called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take part in Friday's debate and make it clear whether he knew that his coalition partner had spoken to the convict, Makis Yiannousakis.

Sources suggested that conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will focus during his speech Friday on the fact that Tsipras appears to be providing Kammenos with full support over the affair. In an official statement Thursday, New Democracy argued that Tsipras’s silence over the issue suggested that he was complicit.

Sources said that the opposition party’s aim is to show that the government is failing to provide convincing answers about the defense minister’s actions. “Everything will be revealed in Parliament,” Kikilias said.

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