ATHENS — "Now that you see the citizens' rising anger over your inability to handle major crises, you are rushing to hand over money to the media to hide or distort the reality. You did not display the same reflexes over issues that concern the lives of Greeks," said the leader of the main opposition, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance President Alexis Tsipras, in Parliament on Monday.
He criticised the government's decision to spend an additional 2.0 million euros on broadcasting messages about the pandemic via channels transmitting nationwide, when these were obliged by law to broadcast such messages without charge. He noted that the government was acting as a "loan shark" at a time when most Greek businesses were under pressure, handing over money that it would then "get back in the form of lies, propaganda and the slandering of all those that criticise you."
Tsipras said it was "deeply offensive for the citizens and deeply provocative and dangerous for democracy" given the government's track record on a series of issues, listing among these "the collapsing economy, the pandemic that has veered out of control … where you seem incapable of handling even the floods in Thessaly and the Ionian islands."
In the midst of all this, he added, the government had not spent a single euro to support hospitals, schools and public transport and was instead wagging its finger at the public and once again throwing cash at the media, without terms or conditions.
"Clearly you are in a panic and unable to handle reality – and since you can't handle it, you want to extort the media to hide it," he added, noting that entire villages continue to be cut off in Medicane-stricken Thessaly one week after the disaster.