ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined the government's actions to reduce insurance payments for employees and to fund small and medium-term enterprises to prevent their bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions, in Parliament on Wednesday.
During a plenary debate on the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry's draft bill, Mitsotakis also criticized sharply main opposition SYRIZA and particularly its leader Alexis Tsipras for his "great skill in distorting things," and called on him to stop.
"Have you said anything about respecting restrictive measures? Have you encouraged citizens to circulate less, observe measures, avoid gatherings? No," Mitsotakis said to Tsipras on the pandemic, "I have not heard these from you, you have not carried out any campaign as a party."
The premier denied the health crisis is out of control, as the opposition charged, and said the problems of the health sector cannot be resolved simply by hiring more doctors or staff, it needs support platforms for processing prescriptions, providing e-distance help, and providing a new public policy on health, such as banning smoking in public spaces. He also responded to criticism of partnerships with the private sector that there is no public health system that does not collaborate in one way or another with the public one.
"All we ever hear in official public discourse from the main opposition is a 'No' to every government action, and a promise to double what the government currently gives."
During one week, 225,000 companies received 1.1 billion euros, the premier said. "You may be speaking to companies that complain. But at no time in post-junta Greece has there been a government that moved so fast to support the real economy. You blew up and destroyed the middle class," he charged.
Addressing all opposition parties, the PM asked them to collaborate on a large public awareness campaign for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus. He expressed his hope that parties will support the effort and not see it as a publicity stunt to buy out the mass media outlets' support.