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Politics

Iliopoulos: Greece Must Take “Immediate Steps” to Support Businesses and Workers

December 15, 2020

ATHENS — The government must take immediate steps to support the businesses and workers affected by the pandemic, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nasos Iliopoulos said on Tuesday.

Talking to the radio station Real FM, he repeated SYRIZA's position that the protection of human life has two sides: the health aspect but also that of economically supporting the citizens and businesses that are impacted.

He said that SYRIZA has submitted three standing proposals to support the economy, including the state undertaking to pay the entire Christmas bonus to employees based on their real wage, not 540 euros, to make the returnable advance non-returnable and to introduce a generous debt settlement scheme that includes debt haircuts for businesses, particularly for small and medium enterprises.

Iliopoulos criticised the government for "not making decisions based on the recommendations of the scientists but on the basis of the political pressure it is subjected to." He warned of the danger that society's trust in the state will be eroded if it is seen to employ double standards at a time deaths have exceeded 3,000.

Commenting on the outcome of the European Council on Turkey, SYRIZA's spokesperson blamed both the European Union for "lagging behind the real needs and not doing what must be done to defend Greece as a member-state," and also the Greek government for "wasting the country's diplomatic capital when it failed to build on the Prespes Agreement and did not rely on the decision achieved by the previous government in the summer of 2019 for sanctions on Turkey." Instead of this, Iliopoulos pointed out, it had said that "sanctions are not a Greek choice!".

Dialogue with Turkey was the only solution, he concluded, but there had to be sanctions on the table or an automated mechanism of sanctions and a positive EU-Turkish agenda. "Unfortunately, the ND government has failed on both counts. We hope that the change of leadership in the US will change the EU's stance," he added.

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