ATHENS — "The situation in West Attica is yet more proof of the government's inadequacy, one more example of its criminal indifference for the health of the citizens," main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Friday on social media.
"On Monday the government decided to open shops in West Attica as well. On Thursday to close them. Had they not checked the area's epidemiological levels at all? Or perhaps they had and were trying to sweep it under the carpet," he said.
According to Tsipras, the committee of epidemic experts has long been complaining that there was not enough daily data on each region, so that decisions for the management of the pandemic can be taken promptly.
For a month now, local authorities in West Attica have been asking for mass testing due to an increase in cases. The government ignored them," Tsipras noted, while criticising the "non-existence of preventive measures and faulty handling of the pandemic in large work-places," adding that after nine months this was "no longer just an error but a deliberate choice".
The same thing had happened in Thessaloniki and Western Macedonia, he pointed out, where large factories and industrial units had been allowed to become superspreader sites for the virus.
Among others, the main opposition leader criticised the "very deliberate" decisions to not carry out mass testing in big workspaces using the National Public Health Organisation, to force people that had to self-isolate to "make up" the hours lost through unpaid overtime, to essentially put the Hellenic Labour Inspectorate "on hold" and refuse to reveal how many inspections were being carried out and where and to announce new restrictions without taking any steps to support the people living in these mostly poor and working-class neighbourhoods.
"Now that the damage has already been done, they are deciding on a harsh lockdown and hold the victims responsible: it is again the fault of the citizens and workers, for crowding into the factories at Aspropyrgos, the metro in Athens, the buses in Thessaloniki and the factories of Western Macedonia," Tsipras said.