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Politics

Sinking in Polls, Tsipras Wants Early Elections, Challenges Mitsotakis

December 22, 2021

ATHENS – Despite surveys showing he’s as much as 13 points behind, Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras has again called for early elections rejected a number of times by Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

As he has before, Tsipras said it’s because he believes that Mitsotakis, who has gone back and forth between being tough and soft on COVID-19 health measures, had bungled the response to the pandemic so badly it brought needless deaths.

Speaking to STAR TV, Tsipras also again pointed to a study which was co-authored by one of Mitsotakis’ chief scientific advisors that showed mortality rates of 87 percent for patients treated outside public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs.)

“Human lives cannot rely on a cynical government,” Tsipras said, adding that ruling officials “clearly had knowledge” of the findings in the report – an allegation that the government has repeatedly denied.

Although during his 4 ½ year reign the public health system (ESY) was battered by austerity measures and budget cuts he vowed not to impose but then did to get an international bailout, Tsipras said it was Mitsotakis’ government which had failed to improve it enough.

He said that, “We would have averted 38.5 percent of (COVID-related) deaths,” if the public hospitals and national health care had been improved but provided no proof for that assertion as the number of deaths passed 20,000.

“Eight thousand families now feel that their loved ones would have been saved if ESY were in the right shape,” Tsipras said, without indicating how he would have dealt with the biggest health crisis in human history.

 

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