Pop political psychiatry for all

Opposition leader Costas Karamanlis launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday, saying that he was so weak as to be the cause of political instability. This was in response to a statement by Simitis on Friday that the conservative New Democracy party had no policy to offer the country and was involved only in reacting to PASOK. «A prime minister should not fall so low,» Karamanlis told a party gathering in Zakynthos. «Yesterday, speaking to his party, the prime minister once again made heavy accusations against us. That’s his opinion. We will not apologize to them because we show understanding to people who are panic-stricken and frightened,» Karamanlis said. «But I must express my concern because a prime minister who is so weak is synonymous with conditions of political instability,» he added. «The government is having a nervous breakdown. Its cadres cannot dedicate themselves to governing. They involve themselves with inner-party squabbling and talk of leadership struggles. The prime minister cannot coordinate the government’s work.» This prompted an equally charged response from government spokesman Christos Protopappas. «Three times in two days New Democracy rushed to announce its diagnosis that we are on the verge of a nervous breakdown,» he said. «I want to note, though, that this knowledge of psychiatry will be most useful for them to employ on themselves,» he said, claiming that New Democracy showed a persistence on the same issues that demanded psychiatric diagnosis. The conservatives’ spokesman, Theodoros Roussopoulos, then added that «in the last few days the government spokesman shows that he is very influenced by newly appointed Health Minister Costas Stefanis.» Stefanis is a professor of psychiatry. Maria Sfakianaki was hospitalized at the Iraklion Venizeleio Hospital.

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