April 13, 2024

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A for TV licenses and Novartis. Tsipras' Confession of Mistakes

A for TV licenses and Novartis.  Tsipras' Confession of Mistakes

By Nikki Zorba

Alexis Tsipras, the former prime minister and former leader of the official opposition, appeared in his first interview in months, without mentioning the current developments affecting Syriza.

He avoided the opposition's outcry against the Mitsotakis government, but he made no admissions about the significant cases his government had handled, nor did he make any accusations about the people who handled them.

For starters, there was a TV license case when Nicos Pappas was minister at the time and Mr. Tsipras confessed, speaking at the conference of Kathimerini “Metopolidevici: 50 Kronia Meta” and the journalist Xenia Kounalakibos, that it was unfortunate to deal with… We were in the same and worse position.

The TV license issue was a major blow to the Tsipras government both politically and domestically.

In particular, regarding television licenses, Mr. Tsipras said:

“Despite our intentions to create a positive framework, we ended up with the CoE's decision to remain the same and worse, with an unfortunate handling of the licensing of channels, without profit and at great political cost”.

He also indirectly confirmed the information which would bring him a great distance from his former close associate Nikos Papa.

He appeared upset about Novartis, admitting that he had “fired” people associated with the wrongdoing.

On this he said: “We have committed a huge corruption and our intention not to intervene in this corruption has given us the impression that we are bringing together those who are connected with those who are not involved.” We are dealing with mistakes.

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Dramatic 2015, Negotiation and “Personal Agenda”

Referring to the dramatic events of 2015 leading up to the referendum, the country's flirtation with exiting the European Union and its eventual capitulation by signing the third memorandum, also known as the “Collection”, Alexis Tsipras pointedly stated:

“Not even for a moment did it cross my mind to negotiate the country's presence in the EU and the euro”.

In the same context, he said: “This is a dramatic moment, but it is also the culmination of a long period of austerity and weakness of European leadership. We have a popular mandate to negotiate so that there is a viable chance of exiting the crisis. With social standing.”

As he has argued in the past, he reiterated that there were people and forces within the government at the time who wanted to leave the euro: “We came up with a memorandum and we are stuck with people with personal agendas”.

Speaking about the referendum, he specifically said, “The country cannot move forward without a new debt deal. Europe's leadership does not dare to take a step back. The referendum dramatized developments and led both parties to take a step back.” He declared that he was proud of the government's decision at the time, signing a memorandum that envisioned a “beginning, middle and end”.