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Politics

Iliopoulos: The Gov’t Playing Dice with People’s Lives

ATHENS — "Not only does the government lack a plan but it is also playing dice with people's lives," main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nassos Iliopoulos said in an interview with ITV Ioannina on Wednesday.

He pointed out that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had come out on March 4 to state that Greece was "in the final stretch" of the pandemic, and just 10 days later "the hospitals in Attica collapsed and on Tuesday we had the highest number of new cases and patients on ventilators, while the dead have exceeded 8,000." Either the prime minister was lying, Iliopoulos added, or else he "has no idea what's going on".

"In either case, we have a dangerous prime minister," the spokesperson said, and again criticised the government for refusing to take measures in workplaces and public transport.

Responding to ruling New Democracy's criticism that protest rallies were responsible for the hike in cases, Iliopoulos said that "it is hypocritical for a government to turn a blind eye to the daily congestion on public transport and blame demonstrations for the surge of the pandemic.

On the imminent opening of schools and the market, he said that if "we open up activities in the same way as we did before this lockdown, then there is no reason for things to go any differently. The schools should open with the necessary protection measures, with teachers vaccinated and fewer pupils per classroom. If retail trade is to operate this should be done with the necessary measures in workplaces and public transport. But if the government is planning to open shops simply so that it no longer has to financially support their employees, it should be aware that for many businesses the opening will be only a temporary stage before closing down".

Iliopoulos also underlined that the predictions were for unemployment to rise to 1.3 million by the end of 2021, which meant that the 200,000 jobs being promised via the Recovery Fund, "are clearly just a drop in the ocean".

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