PM Tsipras scraps 'embargo' of harsh media critic, says he'll personally appear on Skai TV to field questions

Sunday, 30 June 2019 23:48
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The outgoing government and up-to-now ruling SYRIZA party's "embargo" against Athens-based Skai broadcaster - one of the most acerbic media critics of the former - was unceremoniously scrapped over the weekend, as incumbent prime minister Alexis Tsipras himself announced that he'll appear on the station's live prime-time newscast on Tuesday.

"I have decided to go to the Skai TV station on Tuesday evening, so that our (SYRIZA) arguments can be heard from there," Tsipras' official Greek-language Twitter account announced on Sunday.

He also took a shot at his main rival, ND party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, indirectly calling on him to consent to a one-on-one television debate.

Tsipras himself reportedly mandated the "shunning" of Skai by his ministers, SYRIZA deputies and even top party cadres, after a well-known journalist and news program host, Takis Hatzis, reported that the police and fire brigade chiefs would be cashiered in the wake of last July's deadly wildfire at the Mati site, in eastern Attica prefecture.

The report at the time generated howls of protest by the Tsipras government and derision by the pro-government press, only to be confirmed just more than a week later.  

Nevertheless, the embargo stayed in place, even as Tsipras and his hard left SYRIZA continued to slide in opinion polls and even in the wake of two successive election defeats over the past 45 days, in the European Parliament and local government races.

Political analysts in Athens over the weekend referred a "pull out all the stops" strategy by Tsipras and SYRIZA to overturn ND's apparent commanding lead, as far as opinion poll results are concerned.

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