ATHENS – As COVID-19 cases are jumping to record levels, critical care units filling and deaths rising, major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has abandoned the fight.
The Premier has backed away from promises to consider making vaccinations mandatory – only health care workers for now must be inoculated – and has shifted his attention toward restoring the economy.
Mitsotakis has also essentially stopped listening to his advisory panel of doctors and scientists who warned of a fourth and possible fifth wave of the pandemic and his government has admitted the economy is now the priority.
Tsipras said a new committee of scientists should take charge without explaining why that shouldn’t be left in the hands of the current panel, one of whose leaders said people have stopped listening to health advice, as well as the government, which has eased restrictions.
In a social media post, Tsipras accused the government of giving up any pretense of trying to contain the pandemic and preferring to appease “extreme right-wing beliefs and the anti-vaccination audience” – although SYRIZA has a hard-core anti-vaxxer segment too.
“Mr. Mitsotakis and his government have decided not to deal with it. They are not strengthening the National Health System because it is not in their program, and are, again, allowing it to teeter on the verge of collapse due to understaffing.”
He didn’t mention the health care system took budget hits when he was ruling for 4 ½ years before being ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy.