ATHENS — Greece is entering a new phase, one in which the government, led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, will unfold the full extent of its harsh political agenda and set the tone for the next elections, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance President Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday while addressing the party's Political Council, according to main opposition sources.
"We are entering a new phase in which the pandemic is present but we are learning to live with it. In this new phase, the harsh political agenda of the Mitsotakis government will unfold: a labour policy with cuts in wages, unpaid work and dismissals, a pension system with the privatisation of supplementary pensions, a bankruptcy law without protection of primary residence and barriers and cut-offs for the admission of students to universities. In one sense, therefore, political time is unfreezing and the political confrontation begins. Now and in the next year, given the policies followed by Mitsotakis, the political correlations of the next elections will be decided," Tsipras was quoted as saying.
The main opposition leader also cited the findings of opinion polls, which showed intense opposition by a majority of voters to the government's neoliberal policies, such as the recent changes in labour law.
"Consequently, a major challenge is opening up regarding the presentation of an alternative proposal, the proposal of a progressive government that aims to support the forces of labour and lessen inequality in society," he added.
Tsipras also referred to the continuing danger posed by the pandemic, criticising delays in the vaccine rollout while stressing that vaccination was essential, as it was the only defence against the deadly virus "and an act of social responsibility and solidarity". He defended SYRIZA-PA's call for a waiver of vaccine patents worldwide, saying that "no crisis can be overcome without social solidarity, especially health [crises]."
He ended by noting that a "hot political summer" lies ahead in which the party must mount a constant presence on all social and political fronts in society.