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Politics

Iliopoulos: “Gov’t Did Not Stop the Fires, Won’t Stop Economic Destruction That Is Coming”

ATHENS — The government failed to stop the destruction caused by the fires and clearly lacks a plan and the desire to stop the economic destruction that is coming, the spokesperson for main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, Nasos Iliopoulos, said on radio 'Sto Kokkino' on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow's discussion in Parliament is taking place while the country continues to burn, with the collapse of the 'lean' state as a backdrop," he said, adding that SYRIZA will criticise the chaos and blatant operational mistakes, as well as presenting its own proposal to society.

Regarding the pandemic and the measures announced by the government, Iliopoulos said that SYRIZA had expected measures to support public health rather than measures targeting unvaccinated citizens.

"The government neither wants to nor is able to support public health, which is why it also failed as regards vaccination and has fully lost the citizens trust on the front of the pandemic," he said, adding that New Democracy has never believed in the public health system.

He strongly criticised the government's performance in handling the fires that swept Greece, saying that the 'pared-down state' managed to lose more than 120,000 hectares to the flames, with the increase of burnt areas rising by 450 pct since 2020, while members of the government were congratulating themselves on a job well done in the midst of the destruction.

Iliopoulos also pointed to the abolition of the ratified forest maps by the present government, saying this acted as a 'nod and wink' to those seeking to illegally occupy this land, as well as the scrapping of a forest protection programme with more than 5,000 employees initiated by SYRIZA.

He said these should be rehired, the Hatzidakis law abolished and civil protection reorganised in accordance with the proposals of the Goldammer report.

Concluding, Iliopoulos stressed that security did not mean the hiring of hundreds of police officers instead of fire men "and to finally end up with the tragicomic images of DELTA police officers putting out fires with garden hoses."

He noted that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was "far from understanding what has happened in the country, as clearly show by his stance during the press conference, where without any sense of his responsibility he was often smiling and at no time admitted any specific mistake."

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