President under fire for ‘demon take you’ comment

President under fire for ‘demon take you’ comment

The palace was forced to backtrack on Wednesday after President Nicos Anastasiades was caught on camera warning journalists not to ask him questions about the Al Jazeera expose on the passport scheme or they would “bear the brunt [of his wrath]”.

 

The palace was forced to backtrack on Wednesday after President Nicos Anastasiades was caught on camera warning journalists not to ask him questions about the Al Jazeera expose on the passport scheme or they would “bear the brunt [of his wrath]”.

Anastasiades was attending an event Tuesday evening and media were setting up to ask him questions but before anyone had, the president spoke first and said anyone if anyone asked him about the documentary “the demon will take you”, roughly translating into a threat to come down on them if they did.

The short video was uploaded on social media and caused a backlash against Anastasiades.

On Wednesday afternoon, the director of the president’s press office, Victoras Papadopoulos, issued a written statement saying the clip “unfortunately gives the wrong impression about the President of the Republic’s respect for journalists and the media”.

Papadopoulos said the president had gone to the event and after being approached by TV crews, asked them, off the record, that he not be asked about the Al Jazeera video. The reason was “he did not have the opportunity until that time to see it”. The video was released on Monday morning.

“Therefore, before starting the questions from the journalists, the president stated that he would not answer the specific question if asked since he did not have a chance to form an opinion,” said Papadopoulos.

“The specific expression which he used, was used jokingly. The president of the Republic respects and honours journalists, the media, as well as their function.”

But the Cyprus union of journalists was not convinced. Its president Giorgos Frangos called the comment “unfortunate, inelegant, uncomfortable and unpleasant” even though he acknowledged it was said in a moment of stress.

“It was not a joke and there is no excuse for the president not to have known that the cameras were recording at the time,” said Frangos.

He said he was certain the president “at the first opportunity” would want to retract the bad impression that was created “and make up for it”.

Frangos said journalists were often used as punching bags and said it was always easier to “shoot the messenger”.

 

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades Departs An Eu Summit At The European Council Building In Brussels

 

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