Gov’t Will Not Follow SYRIZA’s Downhill Slide to Populism, Mitsotakis Says

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis chaired a meeting of the cabinet focusing on 10 legislative measures on Thursday, though he started the meeting by first expressing the deep sorrow felt by all over the deaths of two Hellenic Air Force pilots, following his return from the funeral of Air Force Lieutenant Marios-Michail Touroutsikas.

He also levelled strong criticism at main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, saying that its decision to not participate in any voting in Parliament was “unacceptable” and a sign that the party was returning to “to the populism of slogans and unrestrained lies, instead of rationality and arguments.”

Mitsotakis said these represented “devastating experiences that the country does not on any account wish to live through again,” and stressed that Greece has a “parliamentary not a ‘street’ democracy”.

He emphasised the importance of replying to such extreme behaviour by focusing on New Democracy’s policy platform and political speech and not getting carried away into following SYRIZA in its downhill slide.

“We have, in any case, many things to talk about, a lot of good news: the national economy has recently been upgraded for the 12 time. A series of rankings bring Greece to the top of scores in which it once came last. In fact, today I saw that our country improved its position by nine places – the biggest progress out of all European countries – in the ranking on the scale for democratic government, in spite of any mistakes that may have been made,” he said.

He additionally pointed to the good news on the economic front, as confirmed during his visits to the World Economic Forum in Davos and his recent trip to Japan, while noting that Greece could not afford setbacks or to enter into new adventures. “Stability, consistency and continuity are now concepts more necessary than ever before and this is why we are continuing our work,” he added.

The prime minister highlighted the efforts being made to support households and help them cope with the rising costs of living and the energy crisis, with measures such as the market pass, the “Household Basket” and others, saying these efforts will continue, including through planned increases in pensions and the minimum wage.

“Our aim, of course, we will say once again, in our second term is an overall upgrade of salaries in the country,” he said.

Turning to the issues on the agenda of the meeting, Mitsotakis highlighted the importance of a law to protect democracy from criminals and criminal organisations posing as political parties, which is to be tabled in parliament on Thursday. He noted that this was similar to legislation that exists in several European countries and asked for its support by all parties.

He also noted that the meeting will discuss several issues and that the government “is continuing to discuss and deal with the current problems and future challenges” in order to make life better for each citizen.


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