ΑΤΗΕΝS -- Addressing parliament during a party-leaders' debate on the pandemic, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance President Alexis Tsipras on Friday said the government was fully to blame "for all that is happening and all that is coming." He accused the government of being in the grip of "ideological obsessions" and the "arrogance of power", and of refusing to share the views of society.
According to Tsipras, Greece was in an "extremely difficult" situation, one which demanded that everyone show "a new sense of collectiveness, a new sense of solidarity".
He noted that anyone who, in such a crisis, behaved or handled matters in a self-serving way, whether politically or economically, was not equal to what the circumstances demand.
"Sincerity and devotion, without party and petty party political favours, in the effort to save as many human lives as possible, must be the priority of all of us," he said.
Tsipras also referred to scientists' warnings that a third wave of the pandemic, possibly worse than anything that came before it, could be on the way: "We are not saying this to frighten anyone. We are saying this in order to prepare ourselves and others; the country, society, the national health system and our own selves," he said.
The main opposition leader attacked Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for "mistakes and omissions" in the handling of the pandemic and said the latter's assessment of the handling of the second wave of the pandemic as "successful" indicated a "fundamentally different view" of reality, citing the 5,500 victims of Covid-19 in Greece. Among others, he criticised the government for failing to provide more support to the national health system or ensure "basic protection measures" on public transport, and the prime minister for "unforgivable negligence and carelessness".
Tsipras also went on to criticise the government's record in supporting the economy during the crisis and claimed a lack of organisation in administering the vaccine, mixed messages, and noted that Greece had at one point exceeded both the EU and the US for deaths per 100,000 populations, ranking 50th amont 53 countries for resilience against the pandemic.
"Whatever the coordinated propaganda may say, Mr. Mitsotakis, I fear you are not the prime minister that does not bear any responsibility but the prime minister that is irresponsible," Tsipras said.