PM ac­cused of mak­ing me­dia grab

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The in­volve­ment of a for­mer SYRIZA MP, Vas­silis Moulopou­los, in the bid to res­cue the cash-strapped for­mer me­dia gi­ant Lam­brakis Press Group (DOL) from clo­sure trig­gered ac­ri­mo­nious ex­changes be­tween party lead­ers in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day over the gov­ern­ment’s al­leged ef­fort to con­trol the coun­try’s me­dia land­scape. New Democ­racy leader Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis said the de­vel­op­ments con­cern­ing DOL, which owns the daily Ta Nea and the Sun­day is­sue of To Vima, were a demon­stra­tion of the gov­ern­ment’s ruth­less na­ture and ex­posed its lack of moral­ity.

“You are try­ing to take con­trol of the me­dia and pub­lish­ers. First you ac­cused them of be­ing cor­rupt, then you work with them and hold clan­des­tine meet­ings,” Mit­so­takis said, ad­dress­ing Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras. He added that sev­eral pub­lish­ers had al­ready fallen in line to serve as the gov­ern­ment’s “me­dia of­fice.” “You are the def­i­ni­tion of vested in­ter­ests,” he told Tsipras.

PASOK leader Fofi Gen­ni­mata fol­lowed a sim­i­lar line of at­tack, slam­ming the gov­ern­ment for al­legedly at­tempt­ing to bring the me­dia un­der its in­flu­ence. “You are try­ing to cre­ate SYRIZA News,” she told Tsipras, ac­cus­ing him of im­pos­ing Moulopou­los, the for­mer board chair­man of the SYRIZA-af­fil­i­ated Avgi news­pa­per, on the me­dia group in a bid to turn it into a gov­ern­ment mouth­piece. For his part, Stavros Theodor­akis, who leads cen­trist To Po­tami, lam­basted the gov­ern­ment, say­ing that for all its talk about smash­ing vested in­ter­ests, it had sim­ply taken over the me­dia to serve its own pur­poses.

Tsipras ac­cused his crit­ics of hypocrisy, as the collusion be­tween politi­cians and the me­dia, he said, was bred by pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments. He also said the gov­ern­ment could come up with a new le­gal frame­work gov­ern­ing the me­dia if there was party con­sen­sus.

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