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Politics

SYRIZA Trying to Discredit Mitsotakis, New Democracy Over COVID-19

ATHENS – As he keeps falling in polls, major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has turned to undercutting New Democracy's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic after a second wave caught the government off guard.

SYRIZA already had accused the administration of fudging and even faking the numbers reported, from cases and how many public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU's) were available and operating and has stepped up attacks.

The leftists said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – embarrassingly caught riding his off-road bike on a mountain during the lockdown and close to people not wearing masks or staying a safe social distance – had disregarded his panel of scientists and doctors who provide advice.

Mitsotakis had earlier, however, suggested they didn't tell him to push for a second lockdown as the virus spread through Thessaloniki, the country's second-biggest city and major port, apparently shifting blame.

He admitted being too late to bring a second closing of non-essential businesses and a more lenient lockdown letting people out in droves for permissible missions such as going to supermarkets, banks, doctors, pharmacies, exercise or walking pets.

SYRIZA now will further step up its assault on the government, said Kathimerini, after falling behind in polls by 17 points or more and with Mitsotakis far more popular than Tsipras, whom he ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections.

SYRIZA had made further cuts to the health budget during its 4 ½ years in power during which Tsipras reneged on virtually all his anti-austerity and other promises and now is blaming New Democracy for not propping up public hospitals and health more.

Sources not named told the paper SYRIZA wants more accountability of COVID-19 data that the National Health Service said was accurate, the government saying it's the leftists, not the Conservatives, acting out of political expediency.

SYRIZA has started to gain ground, however, with public fatigue over the second lockdown and worry by businesses and citizens that they won't recover fully and Mitsotakis took a big hit for violating his own rules about going out.

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