By Dimitris Bekiaris

The current atmosphere in Greece’s political life is highly reminiscent of the so-called “Dirty ’89” (aka the 1989-1992 George Koskotas scandal), following the recent emergence of recorded conversations between Nikos Pappas and the businessman Sabby Mionis, while at the same time the preliminary investigation into the Novartis scandal is reminiscent of an arena, where the opposing camps are willing to fight to the bitter end.

In the present circumstances, rumors are running wild about other conversations that may soon come to light in the form of recordings. In a television interview, Nikos Pappas himself wondered if Sabby Mionis had recorded other interlocutors as well, most likely from the governmental side. SYRIZA considers the above mafia-style methods, and rightfully so. After all, this is not the first time that the Mitsotakis family has been involved in such “activities”. Who can forget the Mavrikis telephone tapping case and the preliminary investigation into Konstantinos Mitsotakis’ and Dora Bakoyannis’ involvement in the phone tappings? (Read in detail HERE)

Today, journalistic circles affiliated with the Mitsotakis government claim that Sabby Mionis is prepared and ready to return with new documents, while many people are certain that more conversations will eventually come to light, exposing Nikos Pappas once more and putting Alexis Tsipras in a difficult position. Some claim that the eventual political outcome for Nikos Pappas will be similar to that of Menios Koutsogiorgas. Even so, it should be remembered than Andreas Papandreou had distanced himself from Menios Koutsogiorgas. The burning question is, however, what will Alexis Tsipras do today?

Why will Alexis Tsipras find himself in a difficult position?

Alexis Tsipras, while being in Messolonghi, covered up for Nikos Pappas. However, it is not the first time that this happens and it is certainly no coincidence that Nikos Pappas seems to always be “in the eye of the storm”, regarding his involvement in obscure activities. It is not the first time that Alexis Tsipras finds himself in a difficult position because of him and, of course, it is not the first time that he covers up for him.

Let’s take a look at some coincidences of recent years.

Who doesn’t remember all the fuss around Nikos Pappas’ dealings just before the Greek TV licensing tender? Who doesn’t remember the fact that due to Nikos Pappas’ relations with the contractor Kalogritsas an entire government found itself on the ropes, being forced to apologize before the extremely corrupt Right? Who can forget the case of the Venezuela trip or the Petsitis case? Who can forget Evangelos Marinakis referring to Nikos Pappas’ demands about Kalogritsas?

Shipowner Vangelis Marinakis had then stated: “ The reason that led me to make this revelation was the following: the bid of €72 million I had submitted to the TV license tender was checked and found to be flawless. They sent Mr. Kalogritsas to me. He didn’t pass by my office and was there by chance to take €20.500.000 for the new channel. He eventually came to my office. There are eyewitnesses and security cameras”.

Who could forget “Perouka-gate” and the former good friend Mr. Kontominas becoming a sworn enemy and making various suggestive remarks in a live broadcast on Alpha TV?

Once again cameras, recordings, dealings, photos, tappings and obscure activities; and once again, Nikos Pappas in the equation.

There are many people who pose the following question: Why doesn’t Alexis Tsipras remove or “put on ice” or, at least, distance himself from toxic individuals, who are a burden to SYRIZA and negatively affect the moral advantage of the Left?

New Democracy has realized the inability of Alexis Tsipras to take drastic initiatives in relation to his party members or his close associates. Let’s not forget that Rena Dourou, instead of going home, was once again a candidate in the last local elections, even having Alexis Tsipras’ full support, a support that badly damaged Tsipras’ reputation among the Greek people. In New Democracy, they rubbed their hands in satisfaction. They do the same right now. Alexis Tsipras’ close friend and associate, the former powerful Minister of State and Digital Policy, the top SYRIZA executive, is once again found entangled in suspicious activities and Alexis Tsipras is once again supporting him, as he did in the past, despite the fact the he was, for example, initially exposed for the fiasco of the Television licenses. Who can forget Alexis Tsipras angrily apologizing at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 2016, because someone had earlier assured him that the tender for the TV licenses would go according to the original plan, with the result that the former prime minister had been exposed, following the mediation of the Council of State?

What is happening today?

New Democracy is pressuring Alexis Tsipras to remove Nikos Pappas from SYRIZA. From their own point of view, they are acting wisely. Of course, New Democracy is well aware that Alexis Tsipras is not going to get rid of his close partner, but will rather carry him as a burden. The longer he carries him as a burden, the greater will be the damage to SYRIZA. As long as Alexis Tsipras keeps carrying the burden of Papadimoulis, Pappas, Dourou and other such individuals that have brought the Democratic Alignment to its knees, the dirty propaganda mechanism of the Right and the Establishment will keep raging and finger-pointing, questions will keep raising in Greek society, and the moral advantage of the Left will keep receiving heavy blows.

Eventually, the following question will be put forward: “What binds Alexis Tsipras so tightly with Nikos Pappas?”. Centers affiliated with the current government will spread exaggerated rumors about peculiar…dealings, meetings, and activities – rumors that have absolutely nothing to do with the Left.

Let’s be clear – We don’t know if Nikos Pappas is guilty or not. This will be decided firstly by SYRIZA and secondly by the judicial system. Besides, Nikos Pappas has addressed an invitation – dare: “ Let them put me on trial”. If he is indeed not guilty, then he is careless and amateur, easy prey for his opponents, the “Achilles’ heel” of SYRIZA and a constant threat to Alexis Tsipras, who is a great political figure of the Democratic Alignment and the country in general.

What we do know, however, is that Alexis Tsipras has to do something immediately so that people will not eventually say that “the fish rots from the head down”. Such a thing was said by the leader of the Movement for Change, Fofi Gennimata, who described Nikos Pappas as an “intermediate” and Alexis Tsipras as “the boss”.

Let everyone know that all this is just the beginning of the worst period that the country will have known in the post-junta era.