Athens – After initial widespread criticism over the Empress’ vacation during her leave of absence, popular sentiment has now turned against the critics and the press that published them. Accusations of sexism, insensitivity and opportunism were rapidly levied. The conflict has even led to a social media campaign under the hashtag #NotYourCall where public figures, famous people, but also private citizens have published their own vacation pictures. Prominent individuals who took part in this campaign include the Chief Magistrate Avra Georgiou, the Magistrate of Defence Ariadne Notaras, the Magistrate of Education Josip Kolar, the Chief Editor of the Athens Times Vanya Maric and the Majority Leader in the Senate Konstantinos Iordanou.
According to initial polling both the approval ratings of the media and the opposition have dropped even further going from 56% to 20% and from 35% to 7% respectively. These are the lowest levels reported in two deacdes. Low support from the populace has seemingly encouraged the government to retalliate, as press credentials for the Imperial Palace and all Ministries were withdrawn from the publications that released the initial pictures and the Imperial Police has launched an official investigation into tracking down the leaker.
The government has had a long history of tension with both the opposition and the press, and these events are unlikely to change much of that as both sides dig into the sand. Some fear that the current investigations may only be the beginning of a larger operation against dissident voices.