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Politics

Tsipras Says Mitsotakis Should Quit Over COVID Hospital Deaths

December 19, 2021

ATHENS – Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras wants early elections and said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis should step down over his handling of the pandemic and a report showing extraodinary deaths from COVID-19 public hospitals.

Tsipiras, who was premier for 4 ½ years before being ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections directed his criticism right at his rival and said, “Your government has proved ineffective and incapable of managing the country’s big problems. It also proved authoritarian, indifferent to the anxieties of the vast majority of society,” reported Kathimerini.

Tsipras pointed to a study by Dr. Sotiris Tsiodras, head of the infectious diseases unit for the National Public Health Organization and  epidemiologist Theodoros Lytras, professor of public health at the European University of Cyprus, which found that deaths outside of intensive care units had an 87 percent mortality rate.

“The Tsiodras-Lytras study alone would have been enough – ignoring the experts which cost thousands of lives, but also the lies that followed its publication – for any government of another European country to resign,” he said during a debate in Parliament on the 2022 state budget.

“And there’s only the way out of the current impasse. Resign, Mr. Mitsotakis. Call elections,” said Tsipras, who made no mention of the 102 people who died in July 23, 2018 wildfires northeast of Athens for which critics blamed his government for a failed response.

That came after a former health minister for SYRIZA was ejected from the party after accusing the rival New Democracy government of murder in the deaths of thousands of people among nearly 20,00 from COVID-19.

Panagiotis Kouroublis was booted by Tsipras who had been constantly accusing the government of failures in dealing with the pandemic as there has been no move to commandeer private hospitals although public hospital ICUs are overwhelmed.

Kouroublis said that the government had “murdered thousands of people,” referring to a report there were high numbers of fatalities of people on ventilators who were being treated outside ICU’s.

Mitsotakis said if elections were held today, New Democracy would win again.

“If there is a politician in the country who would have a real benefit from early elections, it would not be you, Mr. Tsipras, but me,” Mitsotakis said.

“In the past there were several opportunities for me to go to early elections when the result for our party would be better than the 2019 elections. I did not do it, we are not the same,” he added.

He said the great advantage for Greece and “its source of prosperity” is its political stability. “Elections will be held on time, at the end of four years, whether you ask for them or not,” he added, the paper also said.

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