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Adonis Georgiadis accuses SYRIZA of clientelism

26 November 2013 / 21:11:21  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

The dispute between Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis and SYRIZA that started on television has turned into a considerable political issue. The charges of the Minister that the main opposition party is opposing the draft on generics because it serves the interests of the Greek pharmaceutical companies had driven the left party to organize an emergency press conference.

It was attended not only by deputies who are responsible for SYRIZA’s policy in the health sector but also by party leader Alexis Tsipras himself who urged the government to withdraw the legal text. It is expected that the draft will be voted on Wednesday and also that a 10-day public discussion on the costs of medicines will; be initiated.

Alexis Tsipras questioned the intentions of the government to reduce the prices of medicines by stating that, upon entering the ministerial cabinet, Adonis Georgiadis had signed an increase in the prices of 265 medicines, and called him "the most appropriate minister as regards the destruction of the health care system."

The leader of SYRIZA disputed Georgiadis’ statements that the amendment to the law would decrease the prices of 6,000 medicines. "With the amendment he wants to secure himself the right to decrease the prices of a number of medicines at his discretion, without any parliamentary control. We believe that a clientelist relationship between the specific companies and the Minister may lie behind this. Let us call things by their true name: The amendment is not in the interest of the citizens and public health. It serves the oligopoly of the cheapest medicines of questionable quality."


Despite the serious charges, Alexis Tsipras refused to clarify the nature of the clientelist relationship between the government and the international pharmaceutical companies and avoided answering the question as to which generics produced by them are of poor quality.

Alexis Tsipras urged Adonis Georgiadis to apologize for having accused the SYRIZA party of clientelism and Sto Kokkino 105.5 radio station ("In red" – author’s note) in particular. In his statements, the Minister has said that SYRIZA is opposing the draft on generics because two radio advertisers are Greek pharmaceutical companies that would suffer losses due to the change in the law. According to Alexis Tsipras, the advertising revenues of the radio station amount to 3,500 euro which is a sufficient argument to rebut Georgiadis’ accusations.

For his part, the Minister shows no intention of retreating. In an interview for Skai TV he states that the director of Sto Kokkino radio station, Kostas Arvanitis, has recognized that "it has mixed up" with the pharmaceutical companies.

"How much money it has obtained under the counter or over is another matter. We have caught it at it," Georgiadis states before journalist George Kiritsis from Avgi newspaper, the other media that is related to SYRIZA.

According to Adonis Georgiadis, the main opposition party unconditionally accepts the demands of the Association of Greek Pharmaceutical Companies.

It is worth noting that Sto Kokkino radio station has filed a lawsuit against Adonis Georgiadis for his statements concerning the media.

Tags: PoliticsAdonis GeorgiadisSYRIZAAlexis TsiprasGenericsPharmaceutical companies
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