PM comes un­der fire

Op­po­si­tion calls for ‘po­lit­i­cal change’ get louder dur­ing Par­lia­ment de­bate

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The coun­try’s acute po­lit­i­cal po­lar­iza­tion was on full dis­play yet again yes­ter­day dur­ing an ac­ri­mo­nious de­bate in Par­lia­ment be­tween party lead­ers re­gard­ing the Greek econ­omy in light of the June 15 Eurogroup agree­ment.

The ac­ri­mony was ev­i­dent from the get-go with all op­po­si­tion par­ties call­ing for po­lit­i­cal change, and de­nounc­ing the left­ist-led coali­tion over the June 15 deal which, they claimed, will in­flict se­ri­ous dam­age on the econ­omy and so­ci­ety as a whole.

New Democ­racy chief Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis led the charge, say­ing there was “wide po­lit­i­cal and so­ci­etal con­sen­sus” re­gard­ing the need for a po­lit­i­cal change that will lead the coun­try out of its pro­tracted cri­sis. But Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras ap­peared un­fazed, and in­sisted that his gov­ern­ment will see out its full term in of­fice, while high­light­ing his left­ist cre­den­tials.

“There is a di­vid­ing line be­tween left and right,” he said, adding that there is a “pro­gres­sive way out of the cri­sis, against a con­ser­va­tive one.”

Tsipras was em­phatic in his de­fense of the deal, say­ing it will put the coun­try back on the road to re­cov­ery and dis­missed crit­ics as “dis­as­ter-mon­gers.”

“Now the re­view has fin­ished, it is not at all easy to sell dis­as­ter-mon­ger­ing and fear,” he said, not­ing that the re­ac­tions of mar­kets since the deal can­not be dis­torted. But Tsipras’s ar­gu­ments drew the mock­ery of op­po­si­tion par­ties for fail­ing to achieve all the goals he had set at the be­gin­ning of the year – in­clud­ing Greece’s in­clu­sion in the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing pro­gram and debt re­lief mea­sures – and for be­com­ing a “cham­pion” at im­pos­ing taxes but a loser in his pur­ported crack­down on tax eva­sion. “The fig­ures say it all, you said you would col­lect 3 bil­lion eu­ros in six months and you col­lected less than 100 mil­lion in 30 months,” Mit­so­takis said, ad­dress­ing Tsipras.

The leader of so­cial­ist Demo­cratic Align­ment and PASOK, Fofi Gen­ni­mata, called for “elec­tions as soon as pos­si­ble.”

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