ATHENS – Greece's major opposition SYRIZA Progressive Alliance leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras has picked up his diatribe against the New Democracy government he accused of mishandling a response to a resurgence of COVID-19.
Addressing SYRIZA’s parliamentary group he called the Conservative administration “incompetent, irresponsible and cynical” warning of “social ruins,” as he said society was being torn asunder by the pandemic.
He accused the government of near-criminal behavior for what he said was deliberately avoiding boosting a public health system that SYRIZA had decimated during Greece's long-running economic and austerity crisis.
While SYRIZA had also cut the public health budget he said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' government was doing it on purpose not for economic reasons because improving it would “would make it harder for them, once things get back to normal, to fire doctors, merge hospital clinics and privatize public healthcare.”
Tsipras said SYRIZA has working on its own proposals on how to distribute some 32 billion euros ($38.06 billion) in COVID-19 loans and grants from the European Commission, the government not saying yet how it would utilized.
Sources not named told Kathimerini it's being described as an “anti-Pissarides” document, SYRIZA opposed to the government being aided by British-Cypriot Nobel Prize winner in economics Sir Christopher Pissarides.
He is leading a panel of experts that wants revenues from property rentals, capital gains from securities and possibly dividends taxed the same as pensioners, salary workers and freelance professionals.
If the government adopts the proposal to tax all kinds of revenues in the same way without reducing the tax rates, there will be significant hikes in many taxpayers' bills, drawing the wrath of the leftists.
The SYRIZA plan reportedly would propose restructuring Greece’s national health system with increased budget spending on health, 15,000 permanent hirings and big pay hikes after the leftists cut spending and reduced wages.