PM at­tempts to put lid on gloom

In heated par­lia­men­tary ses­sion, Tsipras crosses swords with Mit­so­takis, who urges gov’t to call it a day

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras said yes­ter­day he “won’t oblige” New Democ­racy with early elec­tions dur­ing a heated ple­nary ses­sion in Par­lia­ment to dis­cuss the re­sults of an in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee prob­ing the fund­ing of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and me­dia.

“Reck­less­ness is use­ful stu­pid­ity,” Tsipras said, ad­ding that New Democ­racy is call­ing for elec­tions so as to hand over the peo­ple and the coun­try “to the most ex­treme cred­i­tors.”

“We won’t do you the fa­vor,” the prime min­is­ter said dur­ing an ac­ri­mo­nious ex­change with New Democ­racy leader Kyr­i­akos Mitso- takis which at times got per­sonal.

In­sist­ing on the coun­try’s need for a re­formist gov­ern­ment, Mit­so­takis for his part ad­dressed Tsipras, say­ing, “It makes no dif­fer­ence if you can’t or if you don’t want to, you have no right to take us over the cliff,” re­fer­ring to the stalled ne­go­ti­a­tions to wrap up the sec­ond re­view of the coun­try’s third bailout and the re­cent Grexit talk that has resur­faced, even from within the rul­ing SYRIZA party.

Tsipras, how­ever, ap­peared obliv­i­ous to the gloom with re­gard to the coun­try’s sit­u­a­tion, cit­ing the pos­i­tive re­sults of the econ­omy, ap- pear­ing op­ti­mistic that the re­view will be swiftly con­cluded and try­ing to put a lid on fresh spec­u­la­tion of a Grexit.

How­ever, he failed to ex­plain ex­actly how the re­view will be swiftly con­cluded, lim­it­ing him­self to say­ing that “it will be con­cluded with­out con­ces­sion on is­sues of prin­ci­ple.”

But Mit­so­takis painted a dire pic­ture of the coun­try un­der the SYRIZA-led coali­tion.

“Op­por­tu­ni­ties were missed, the prob­lems have mul­ti­plied, and most im­por­tant of all, hope has been re­placed by fear, and we must fight it,” he said.

Tsipras shot back say­ing that the de­mands made by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund were to blame for the cur­rent im­passe in ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“The IMF’s de­mands go be­yond any demo­cratic and con­sti­tu­tional logic and value,” he said, and called on New Democ­racy to take a stance on the is­sue.

“Do you agree or not with the ex­treme mea­sures de­manded by the IMF?” he asked con­ser­va­tives, who, he added, are only in­ter­ested in com­ing back to power “to plun­der the coun­try again.”

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