The Alternate Minister of National Defence, Panagiotis Rigas, in an interview he gave on "PARAPOLITIKA" radio station today, Thursday September 20th 2018, and to the journalist Dimitris Takis, stated amongst other things the following:
Regarding the results of the surveys and the scenarios on the return of bipartisanship:
Regarding the debate that has commenced about the return of the bipartisanship, I do not agree with the way in which this particular word is being used. At the moment, there are two different worlds, two different politics. There is the New Democracy’s politics on one hand with everything that comes with it; in other words the return to extreme neo-liberalism, extreme capitalism and extreme right-wing stances, to everything responsible for the particularly bad situation that our country has got into. On the other hand, there is the progressive world, which together with this government, fought during the preceding years for the restoration of the Greek economy and the Greek society; that world which participated in a long and difficult struggle for the country’s economic and social conversion.
There are opposition parties that place themselves – and I do not question their intentions – in the progressive arc. However, these parties are thus being required to choose whether they are going to support New Democracy’s extreme politics or whether they are going to be in favour of politics that are deeply societal. Therefore, we are not faced with the return of bipartisanship; we have to deal with two structurally opposite political conceptions, with two radically conflicting views; we will all be asked to take a stand and we will all be judged in the end.
Regarding the debate on ERT:
It is New Democracy’s right to criticise, but not in a lawnmower way towards the entire public television. The opposition may say whatever it wants about any journalist; however, what it does is to deliberately discredit ERT. Public television is not as New Democracy describes it; in other words, the people that in less than an afternoon made the television went dark. New Democracy says whatever it says, because it disagrees with a journalist; it is obvious that it understands pluralism in its own specific way. We should better discuss about whether ERT can become better.
What one or another politician says and what position he/she expresses, falls within the scope of politics. Politics has a specific sign. There are certain views that are adopted by the New Democracy party and go public. Higher or lower profile New Democracy members express systematically extreme right-wing views. Why are they offended? Let them get out and say that they disagree. It is their problem whether they agree or disagree, whether they like it or not and whether they expose themselves to the society. New Democracy has moved on to right and extreme-right wing perceptions.
Regarding the Minister of Defence, P. Kammenos, and the Prespa agreement:
We have made a specific agreement with the Independent Greeks party (ANEL) and Panos Kammenos, which is being implemented in the best and most honest way; on the country’s exit from memoranda and supervision – which we managed to do – as well as to bring about economic development. Obviously, there are differences between us and different political bases. That was and still remains a great experiment that needs to be evaluated. In a difficult period and from a very different political basis, we succeeded in achieving a crucial goal.
I believe that the agreement reached solves a huge problem of times. A problem whose responsibility was borne by others; by those who pretend today that they do not remember their previous positions. The agreement contributes to Macedonia’s economic growth and sets the scene for a peaceful coexistence in a troubled region. It serves our Country’s strategic interests. It will be introduced in the Parliament; all members of the Parliament will make a stand. There are parliamentary procedures; let’s wait and see how things are going to turn out.