ATHENS — SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance is ready to take over the governing of the country from the very next day, the main opposition party's spokesperson Nassos Iliopoulos said to Real FM Thessaloniki radio station on Monday. SYRIZA was also ready to take over responsibility for handling the economic and pandemic crises, as well as responsibility for a new start, he added.
He noted that it was up to the party to present an alternative proposal and convince voters about this new start "with a plan based on strengthening the social state, support for labour, and the writing off and settlement of private debt generated during the pandemic."
Iliopoulos said the writing off and settlement of tax and social insurance contribution debts was a key policy proposal for SYRIZA and the only solution for keeping small and medium-sized businesses open for a longer-term fiscal benefit. He noted that SYRIZA had adopted similar measures in 2018 for the social insurance contributions of the self-employed.
This would be combined with a new bankruptcy law in order to prevent an explosion of business closures and unemployment, he added.
Iliopoulos predicted that 2022 will be an election year and noted that the prime minister's announcements at the Thessaloniki International Fair "have not convinced society".
"You cannot reduce youth unemployment with 100 euros a month nor high prices with nine euros a month," he said, noting that the government was spending 150 million when market actors expected that the increased cost of energy for Greek households will be over one billion.
The spokesperson repeated that the measure for tax-free parental gifts up to 800,000 euros was "not a measure for the middle class" as 87 pct of the population was only worth up to 150,000 euros and only 0.4 pct had assets of 600,000-800,000 euros.
"This is a policy for the few. [The government] could have abolished the enterprise levy or the social solidarity levy for both pensioners and public-sector staff but it didn't," he said.
Regarding the issue that has arisen with the e-food delivery drivers, Iliopoulos said the next SYRIZA government will get rid of the legislative loophole in the Hatzidakis law that allows employees to be treated as self-employed.
Finally, he criticised the government's handling of the pandemic and the reopening of schools, saying the higher class sizes and 50pct + one protocol will turn them into accelerators of the pandemic.