Greece’s leftist government faced controversy Sunday following reports that Maximos Mansion sent out guidelines to senior administration officials on how to spin bad press in the aftermath of the lethal wildfires that ravaged eastern Attica on July 23.
According to a report published in Eleftheros Typos on Sunday, the memo was received by several ministers, MPs and party officials ten days after the inferno on August 1. The death toll from the blaze climed to 94 on Saturday.
Officials were allegedly instructed to claim that, contrary to the situation described by the news media, conditions at Mati, the area that was worst hit by the blaze, are improving.
Officials were also instructed to make the case that illegal construction was the main reason behind the high death toll at the seaside settlement. “This is why ‘operation bulldozer’ must have everyone’s support,” said the memo in reference to the government’s campaign to demolish illegal structures across the country.
The memo reportedly instructed officials to tell the media that a government reshuffle is in the cards and that SYRIZA can still win the next election.
Propaganda guidelines also included claims that the government will manage to delay the implementation of pre-legislated pensions cuts on January 1 next year and that developments regarding the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will not affect the administration’s performance.