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Politics

Campaign On: Tsipras Says New Democracy Corrupt, Draws Return Fire 

ATHENS – The deaths of 57 people in a head-on train collision are giving way in the news to the gloves being taken off in a campaign to see who will rule Greece in upcoming elections, New Democracy vs. SYRIZA at the top.

It will be a rematch of the country’s political heavyweights after the Conservatives KO’d the Leftists easily in July, 2019 snap elections and polls showing the government’s lead narrowing after the train tragedy.

The gloves are off and the swinging has begun, along with the continuation of which government should take the most blame for failing to make the railways safe and a surveillance scandal having faded, along with COVID.

The now main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras visited the Hellenic Court of Audit to meet its President Ioannis Sarmas and discuss a report on state efficiency.

“It is generally established that the state’s ineffectiveness is a result of the administration’s inadequacy, as well as phenomena of extensive corruption,” Tsipras said when he came out, reported the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

“Inadequacy and widespread corruption are, in fact, two of the main traits of New Democracy’s government in the last four years.That’s why anything public has been devalued in the last four years, while at the same time the government’s cronies get directly assigned contracts worth billions and provocatively high bonuses in the millions. This is provocative,” Tsipras said.

He said that the average citizen “needs a state that is fiscally sustainable and run with meritocracy, which will be efficient, safe and democratic. Not a clientelist, insecure and unfair state that is loot in the hands of party ‘armies,’” without mentioning patronage and favoritism in his government.

“This is our own promise, to build a state with meritocracy, that is modern, efficient and democratic and stands by the citizens. This is a commitment we will turn into action,” he said, without explaining why he didn’t do that while I power.

Government spokesman Yiannis Economou was ready with ripostes and said that “Mr. Tsipras continues to insult the intelligence of the citizens, in his effort to support his election campaign narrative.”

He said Tsipras “fought every institutional attempt at accountability and evaluation speaks of meritocracy. He speaks of justice and respect for the public interest when he retains at his side two ministers convicted by the Special Court for the gravest offence by a public official, that of breach of duty. His oldest and closest associate, Mr. Pappas, and Mr. Papagelopoulos.”

“Nobody who believes in the modernization of the state and evaluation, in coming to grips with chronic problems and trade unionist attitudes that have held and are holding us back, can trust him,” Economou also said.

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