On Monday (Greek “Clean” Monday), it became known that the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, proceeded to strip his consultant on European and strategic affairs, Dimitris Mitropoulos, of his duties.
The choice of the day for announcing the relevant decision was not random at all and partly achieved its goal: The incident went practically unnoticed, with no emphasis given on the intense background (of which few have knowledge, of course). After all, these days, given the pressure the country is receiving, concerning the refugee crisis, and with COVID-19 having reached Greece, the last thing the Prime Minister’s close associates would desire, would be to see politics and parapolitics columns filled with undisclosed details of a political “decapitation”. Yes, you’ve read right. This is not a simple deposition of an affiliate, but rather a political “decapitation” that will soon lead to ouster.
Absolutely reliable reports indicate that the final decision was made already last Saturday and it completely took Dimitris Mitropoulos by surprise. Nevertheless, the patience of Kyriakos Mitsotakis had been over for a long time.
But first, let us look at what has happened over the last few days.
The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ initial decision with regard to his adviser, was his immediate and peremptory removal from the Maximos Mansion. However, there were dispassionate voices that eventually convinced Kyriakos Mitsotakis to retain Dimitris Mitropoulos as a consultant – for the time being – but without any responsibility.
The well-known journalist, who has been in close contact with the current Prime minister in recent years, remains, therefore, in the government building until he leaves. The reasons for the extension of the… incumbency are obvious and partially stated above: The publication of a crisis that has erupted in the environment of Kyriakos Mitsotakis would be the last thing they would want at Maximos Mansion, under the present critical juncture for the country. At any other time of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ governance of the country, Dimitris Mitropoulos would have already gone home.
So, instead of the immediate ouster of Dimitris Mitropoulos, the path of the “velvet” divorce was chosen, which will be presented in the future as a change of occupation. The Prime Minister’s message was conveyed to the journalist – who expresses the “Simitis-affiliated” component of Maximos Mansion: “Stay until you find a job”. In a nutshell, Kyriakos Mitsotakis generously gives him the time he needs, but even Dimitris Mitropoulos’ return to journalism seems difficult. How credible could a former adviser of the Prime Minister be, since, if he writes in favor of the New Democracy government, he would be considered biased due to his previous service and if he writes negatively, he would be said to do it totally out of… spite.
The “deadly sins” of Mitropoulos
Dimitris Mitropoulos does not originate from New Democracy and does not particularly like the related political space. He is a journalist with specific references and the profile of a social-liberal, pro-European and nostalgic for the regime of Costas Simitis.
It is said that there are currently three “factions”, three “groups”, three “advisory families” in Maximos Mansion, which are fighting for survival and influence.
Dimitris Mitropoulos belongs to the “modernizing component” of this story. An admirer of Costas Simitis, a close friend of certain executives and journalists of the “Kathimerini” newspaper, linked to a great extent with certain “systems” abroad, he is said to have gone to the Maximos Mansion for a specific job: not to serve Mitsotakis, but third-party figures based in Greece and Europe or, to make it more specific, in Athens and… Paris.
So far, the only version we’ve read about the reasons behind his deposition is that in the newspaper “Parapolitika” concerning the crisis that his actions caused in Athens’ relations with Berlin. Rumor has it that Dimitris Mitropoulos is a henchman of the French, but that is only an aspect of the whole story.
The “deadly sins” that have led Kyriakos Mitsotakis to a tough but necessary for his self-protection decision are numerous and go beyond … European issues.
For instance, we convey with absolute certainty that the Prime Minister learned of Dimitris Mitropoulos’s close behind-the-scenes collaboration with a pro-government strategy and communications company. And we are not referring to a mere exchange of views, opinions, and information. Rumors speak of million-dollar jobs, a whole dossier, and background deals that would eventually expose the Prime Minister and his government.
But it is not just that. Dimitris Mitropoulos is said to have been charged with leaks to pro-government and even opposition media. These are leaks and stories fueling politics and parapolitics columns and even targeted other close partners of the Prime Minister. Word has it that there was a whole “industry” of news and petty political comments that ultimately negatively affected Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself, the core of Maximos Mansion and the government’s plans.
This explains the fact that the removal of duties leading to Dimitris Mitropoulos’ deposition has raised great concern in a pro-government publishing group, which has, however, lately been “acting up”, causing the Prime Minister’s discomfort. Meanwhile, an executive member of the said publishing group was, almost panic-stricken, calling left and right, with the illusion that he might impose conditions as a extra-institutional factor!
Another thing worth mentioning – and it is of particular value – is that, as information suggests, in these days of the refugee crisis, the intense pressure on our Evros border, the emergency situation on the Greek islands, Dimitris Mitropoulos had dinner with the Minister of Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis, in the Hilton Hotel.
If that is the case, it certainly did not create a good impression and it was, definitely, to the dismay of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.