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Politics

Greek Parliament Rejects Censure Motion Against Government

ATHENS -The motion of censure against the government tabled by SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance was rejected late on Sunday.

After the end of the roll call vote 156 MPs voted against, 142 for and one present.

It is noted that 299 of the 300 MPs were present as New Democracy’s MP Marietta Giannakou is in Airforce General Hospital’s ICU after a fall.

PM Mitsotakis: Tsipras’ speech contained ‘two lies in every sentence’

The censure motion tabled by main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance was a “desperate attempt” by the main opposition leader to “staunch wounds within his own party,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Parliament on Sunday, prior to the vote.

“You have announced, Mr. Tsipras, that I am finished politically. I imagine this forecast is as accurate as when you said that there was not a chance in a million that Mitsotakis will win the elections,” the prime minister said.

He accused Tsipras of “doing what he knows how to do well, distorting the truth,” while adding that the main opposition leader had outdone himself during his speech in parliament, “[with] two lies in every sentence.”

Responding to the main opposition’s call for early elections, Mitsotakis said that SYRIZA had not yet examined any of the mistakes of its government nor changed any members of the leadership team that the Greek people had rejected at the last elections.

The New Democracy government, he added, was facing the challenges of tomorrow and crises without recent historic precedent, such as the global pandemic, the secondary energy crisis, extreme weather phenomena, earthquakes, heat waves and the “hybrid attack on our country in Evros and the events in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“We can say that we managed to get through these storms with the least casualties,” the prime minister said.

“We make the lessons priorities and we serve them…not on the basis of the cries of a party that has nothing to say about the responsibility of a private company,” he added.

Tsipras in censure motion: ‘You are finished politically’

Three days of discussion had proved “how justified were the waves of outrage and anger that swept through Greek society,” main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said in Parliament on Sunday, accusing the government of failing “with a huge social, economic and human cost,” during the plenary debate on a censure motion tabled by his party.

Addressing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Tsipras accused him of acting “as though you believe your own propaganda,” while adding that the citizens were now “immune to it”. He accused the prime minister of “living in glass bubble” protected by “flatterers”.

“It is time someone told you what is really happening in Greek society. Mr. Mitsotakis, you are finished politically but the worst thing is that you are living in your own parallel universe where everything is going well, because it is presented as going well by the mainstream media,” Tsipras said.

“You are finished, not only because you failed with huge human, economic and social cost in nearly all the crucial issues you handled. In the pandemic, the fires, high prices, the recent snow…but chiefly because at a time when you are failing resoundingly in everything…you continue in a provocative way to believe that you are not a prime minister who must be held accountable but a prince for whom power is a hereditary right.”

Knives Out: SYRIZA Pushes Mitsotakis Censure Motion in Parliament

It has no chance of passing in a Parliament controlled by the ruling New Democracy but SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras assailed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ mishandling of a snowstorm response in a censure motion.

The third and last day of debate on Jan. 30 will be followed by a vote that has given the Leftists a chance to vent at Mitsotakis, who admitted his government was slow to react to the storm and had to apologize for drivers stuck on the Attiki Odos Ring Road.

New Democracy has 157 votes in the 300-member Parliament and so far only SYRIZA and the resurging center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) under new leader Nikos Androulakis is set to vote for the motion and against the Premier.

Mitsotakis and is his aides said the measure was brought simply to try to embarrass him but gives the government a chance to shoot back, especially with some former SYRIZA officials being prosecuted for their response to July 23, 2018 wildfires that killed 102.

The debate is expected to give Mitsotakis the chance, unnamed sources told Kathimerini, to list off accomplishments since he routed Tsipras in July, 2019 snap elections and slowly bringing back the economy before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Tsipras had demanded snap polls in blaming Mitsotakis’ handling of the Coronavirus crisis as well but that was rejected but the two have been taking snipes at each other and comparing their records.

KINAL’s vote against Mitsotakis could also likely rule out any chance the center-left party would take part in any coalition government if New Democracy in the next elections comes first, although a chance in electoral laws brought when SYRIZA was in power removed a 50-seat bonus for elections winners, making a partnership likely.

Mitsotakis offered a “personal and sincere apology” to the thousands of drivers left stranded on major roads in Athens and for the power outages in many areas but most of the blame fell on the operators of the privately-run Attiki Odos and he made the management offer more than 3,500 motorists a 2000-euro ($2229) each but the company wants them to forgo suing if they do.

Mitsotakis has been hit with hot-and-cold complaints after in the summer he also admitted shortcomings in his government’s response to wildfires that swept the country, and a new agency set up to deal with natural disasters failed to respond adequately to the snowstorm, his government said.

But, he said that, “We have laid the foundations so that we can have the procedures, equipment and training so that we are ready to face any unexpected event no matter how intense it is.”

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