Mitsotakis: Rift between left and right undermining coalition


As government officials rebuffed speculation about a rift in the administration between leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his right-wing coalition partner Panos Kammenos, the leader of the conservative opposition New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis indicated on Wednesday that differences between the two sides were undermining the coalition.

"There is obviously something going on between Mr Tsipras and Mr Kammenos," Mitsotakis told his shadow ministers. "One is holding up the other, one is the other's hostage," he said, adding that "both are holding the country hostage."

"The Left of Mr Tsipras does not know what the Right of Mr Kammenos is doing," he said.

As for the matter of the ongoing detention of two Greek soldiers who crossed the border earlier this month by Turkish authorities, Mitsotakis said the government was incapable of resolving the matter, noting that such incidents were solved "in a few hours" in the past.

"They are not good enough. And when we are talking about issues of national importance not good enough means dangerous," he added.

Ahead of a European-Turkish summit on Monday, Mitsotakis said he would do everything he could to secure the release of the two soldiers. 

Finally, on the matter of Greece's scheduled exit from its third bailout this summer, Mitsotakis said the exit was only paper, noting that government rhetoric about a "clean exit" was a "dirty lie" as the country will still have bailout commitments to creditors.