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Comedy show provokes political bickering

16 December 2015 / 14:12:01  GRReporter
1528 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

The election campaign for New Democracy leadership is in its final stage. On Sunday, the party supporters and sympathizers will be able to vote for their preferred candidate among the four contenders, namely official party leader, until recently, Evangelos Meimarakis, former ministers in the coalition cabinet of New Democracy and PASOK Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Adonis Georgiadis, and governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
 
The election campaign was marked by a lot of hints, controversy and outright attacks between them. However, they remained strictly within the party environment but until last night, when popular Greek actor and theatre producer Lakis Lazopoulos intervened in the competition between the four. In the latest edition of his comedy show, he spoke positively about Evangelos Meimarakis and Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and negatively about Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Adonis Georgiadis.

At the same time, one candidate for the "blue" leadership was invited in the central newscast of another TV channel to present his election platform. Minutes after leaving the studio, Adonis Georgiadis announced on his Twitter account, "I was informed that Lakis was cursing me again. I am going to take a walk to the theatre. What do you think about it?" Then he really went to Vembo theatre where Lazopoulos was presenting his show and published a photo of the entrance.

In response, Lakis Lazopoulos directly reproached him, not hesitating to refer to his already dead mother. In particular, Lazopoulos said that exactly one year ago his mother was admitted to hospital due to anxiety caused by Georgiadis’s statements about her son. Then he criticized the politician for wanting to interrupt the show and said, "Only those invited by me get on stage," inviting afterwards Georgiadis to the theatre after the show so that they both could talk. The actor ended the show in a melodramatic tone, with calls to the participants in the audience "to seek happiness in the small things" and a song.

Over the last 10 years, Lakis Lazopoulos has become even more famous for dabbling in politics and supporting particular parties and policies in his comedy show that is broadcast live on Alpha TV every Tuesday night. Many Greek analysts interpret his last night hints that Evangelos Meimarakis and Apostolos Tzitzikostas are more suitable for New Democracy leadership as an appeal to right-wing voters to support those candidates who are convenient for SYRIZA.

Two days ago the Greek newspaper To Vima published an article stating that a discussion of a possible collaboration between New Democracy and SYRIZA is taking place in the circle around former Prime Minister and "blue" leader Kostas Karamanlis, who still has great authority among the party supporters. According to the article, a number of Karamanlis’s collaborators are in direct contact with close associates of Alexis Tsipras, including State Minister Nikos Pappas and others.

Five days ago, almost half of the members of the Greek government, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his wife Peristera Baziana attended the "special" premiere of Lazopoulos’s new production entitled "God, what have we done to you."

After the performance, Alexis Tsipras said, "Lakis excels as an actor and theatre director. I think that his new staging is reminiscent of the works by classical authors of Greek theatre and cinema works."

A photo session followed involving the participants in the performance and author Lakis Lazopoulos, which the critics comment as a "World record in populism per square metre."

The premiere was also attended by Kostas Karamanlis’s two close associates - chairman of New Democracy youth organization Sakis Ioannidis and former MP Evripidis Stilianidis, who spoke with Alexis Tsipras and Nikos Pappas at the theatre.

Ioannidis and Stilianidis support the nomination of Evangelos Meimarakis and analysts say he is the preference of Kostas Karamanlis. This has provoked reactions among the other candidates for New Democracy leadership, that of Adonis Georgiadis being the angriest among them.

It has been long speculated that the circle around Kostas Karamanlis is in cooperation with SYRIZA, even during the presidential elections at the beginning of the year when one of the most prominent representatives of the group of "Karamanlis’s people" Prokopis Pavlopoulos was elected for the post. Appointing members of this group in the state apparatus, such as current Deputy Minister of Justice Dimitris Papangelopoulos, has reinforced the scenarios. In a surprise statement a few days ago, he described the Greek Prime Minister as a "national leader" and stressed that Alexis Tsipras, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Kostas Karamanlis were "a guarantee for the proper functioning of democracy."

Back to New Democracy party elections, despite recent denials today Evangelos Meimarakis confirmed that he indeed had the support of Kostas Karamanlis. In an interview with Skai Radio he said, "Who would not be happy to have support from Karamanlis? All wanted it. The problem is that he has not provided it to them and now they are protesting."

At the same time, he defined as a "political defamation" the rumours that his nomination is supported by different sides in order to serve specific purposes in connection with SYRIZA.

Tags: PoliticsInternal party electionsNew DemocracyLakis Lazopoulos's showAdonis GeorgiadisCriticismRumours of collaboration between New Democracy and SYRIZA
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