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Politics

SYRIZA Spokeswoman Says Elections Will End New Democracy Rule

ATHENS – Seemingly confident of victory in upcoming spring elections, the newly-appointed spokeswoman for the major opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, former TV presenter Popi Tsapanidou, said voters will show they’ve had enough of New Democracy’s almost four years in office.

She told radio station Sto Kokkino that the Conservatives, who ousted the then SYRIZA Radical Left in July, 2019 snap polls – ending its 4 1/2-year reign – will pay the price for what she was profiteering.

As has the SYRIZA leader, former premier Alexis Tsipras, she pointed the finger at Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government as to blame for high prices, inflation and many unable to afford heating oil in the winter.

She said those responsible – meaning the government – would be asking people for their vote and shouldn’t get it because of how the badly quality of their life had been affected under the Conservatives.

“The megawatt-hour in Greece is very expensive and price gouging is at its peak at the expense of households and enterprises. This is happening … when the price of natural gas has dropped to unbelievably low rates and I do not understand why we are paying so much for it in this country for over 20 days,” she said.

She added that, “At the same time, I do not understand why the prices of goods are dropping internationally while in Greece they get higher,” Mitsotakis saying he couldn’t afford to lower a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food.

Tsapanidou said that, “The way we approach the solution to the above problems should change and we should not blame everything on international developments and difficulties. Checks are essential for prices to reach an equilibrium, VAT must be reduced and, of course, an increase of wages is necessary. This is why SYRIZA has called for wage adjustments in line with the consumer price index, so that citizens get some relief and their purchasing power increases.”

She didn’t mention the austerity imposed by SYRIZA while in office as part of acquiescing to the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) putting up a third bailout, for 86 billion euros ($93 billion) that Tsipras said he wouldn’t seek but did.

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