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Politics

Tsipras: Second Lockdown Bears Mitsotakis’ Signature

November 6, 2020

ATHENS — Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras accused the government of "criminal inaction" at a press conference on Friday held in response to the new lockdown announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday.

"The country is in a state of emergency but this dramatic situation was not unavoidable. The overburdening of the health system, the rapid increase in infections were mainly due to the criminal inaction and the criminal complancency of Mr. Mitsotakis and his government," Tsipras said, adding that the second lockdown "has Mitsotakis' signature" and was both "proof and admission of his government's failure to manage the health crisis".

Tsipras criticised the governmment for missing "a unique opportunity when the first lockdown restrictions were lifted in May," when instead "of preparing the country's defences, he chose to brag and congratulate himself instead".

He referred to all the things the prime minister failed to do, such as the hiring of more permanent doctors and nurses in the national health system, creating additional ICUs, providing free COVID-19 tests, improving public transport services, establishing specific health protocols for opening up tourism and a plan for the safe re-opening of schools.

Tsipras also accused Mitsotakis of intentionally concealing the fact that Greece has been doing very badly in recent months in terms of the pandemic and presented comparative figures on deaths and cases, as well as the health systems, in Greece and other European countries.

"The real reason for the lockdown is because he left the National Health System stretched to its limits and there are not enough ICU beds," Tsipras said, asserting that the health system was going into second lockdown with less staff than in 2019.

Regarding the economy, the main opposition leader said that the true picture this presented "is very different from the one the government wants to present," and underlined that Greece is in the 6th worst position among the 27 EU member-states, despite the fact that it entered the pandemic crisis later than the others.

Concluding, Tsipras expressed his concern over developments, noting that the peaking of the pandemic, which could have been avoided, was now, more than ever, threatening human lives. At the same time, he added, the economy was sinking "and Mr. Mitsotakis continues to pose as a saviour".

 

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