Petsas Stresses Importance of the Proper Implementation of Current Measures Against COVID

ATHENS — "We have asked Tsipras to make a statement about what Kontonis said,"government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Friday in an interview with Skai TV, referring to the main opposition leader, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance President Alexis Tsipras, and the expulsion of former justice minister Stavros Kontonis from the main opposition party.

He noted that the discussion that took place between March and June 2019 had also referred to the amendment of the Penal Code planned by the government and the leadership of SYRIZA at that time, and that Tsipras, then prime minister, had been warned, "that with these amendments, which were underway, Golden Dawn will benefit. New Democracy and the other opposition parties had denounced this. It does not matter so much, but even SYRIZA's youth party insisted that this was a gift to Golden Dawn."

Asked why the ND government has not made any changes since taking office, Petsas said that "with unconstitutional and slapdash amendments we will not toss the ball into the future and forget the past," adding that "what matters now is that there is no gap as regards the trial of Golden Dawn."

However, he said that once the sentences are announced, the framework will be re-examined for the future, in order to amend some provisions and deal with such issues more properly.

Regarding the possibility of taking additional measures to deal with the health crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, the government spokesperson acknowledged that there was pressure on the health system due to the increase in cases – noting, however, that this was not aggressive – but also in the number of patients on ventilators. He said, however, that "from today, about 50 Intensive Care Units are gradually entering the system, therefore the capacity will significantly increase in Attica, at least where we see it is coming under most pressure."

He stressed, at the same time, that "the measures that we currently have on the table and are implementing are many and what is important is to implement these measures."


TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state media reported Friday that Tehran has demanded the release of a ship seized by Greek authorities in their waters allegedly under pressure by Washington last month.

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