Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tried to justify the controversial statements by Pavlos Polakis about a wheelchair-bound New Democracy MEP candidate by depicting his alternate health minister as an “abrupt” Cretan whose behavior should be put up with.
At the same time, however, he made sure to rally the majority of his party base to defend his minister: An attack on Polakis, he said, equals an attack on the leftist government.
In doing so, Tsipras acknowledged that Polakis is not just an idiosyncratic minister. In fact, he vindicated critics who argued that the ethics and the demeanor of ministers reflect on the ethics and the demeanor of the government.
This acknowledgment speaks volumes about the character of the SYRIZA administration. Voters should bear this in mind ahead of the upcoming elections.