Kyriakos Mitsotakis is due to make a statement on Monday in response to the gathering spying revelations that have sent his government reeling and left the Prime Minister facing the toughest political challenge of his tenure.
After evading and playing down for weeks claims it was spying on journalists and political rivals, the government was rocked on Friday by the resignation of the Prime Minister’s general secretary, Grigoris Dimitriadis, and the head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), Panagiotis Kontoleon, in what is shaping up as the biggest scandal yet during Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s tenure.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis heads for his summer holidays on Friday knowing that upon his return he will have to decide with his ministers what relief measures the government will set out at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) next month.
The government’s confidence in its handling of Covid-19 over the summer is being challenged by the high death toll recorded in July, and the expectation of a new wave in the autumn.
Greece’s best years for tourism arrivals since 2019, before the pandemic, is being viewed by the government as timely tonic, but is becoming a bone of contention for the opposition, which feels that New Democracy is trying to exaggerate the upturn for communications purposes.
As the political leadership prepares for the summer recess, top government officials are starting to adopt a cautious tone in view of what is expected to be a challenging winter ahead.
The government is trying to look ahead to the package of inflation-busting measures Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will announce in just over a month at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), but the opposition sense it can impede New Democracy’s momentum by focussing on the spyware scandal.
German Foreign Minister Analena Baerbock visited Athens for the first time since her appointment next week and there is a feeling among Greek officials that it may have marked a shift in the way Berlin views the enduring disputes between Athens and Ankara.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged to pull out all the stops to help households deal with high energy bills, although it is not clear that the relief measures are having the desired effect in terms of winning over public opinion.
The New Democracy administration unveiled a digital wallet as part of its ongoing e-government overhaul, but for opposition SYRIZA the announcement was an opportunity to ask questions about the stalled digital ID project and the conservatives’ record in public administration reform.