SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras reiterated his request for national elections in a live interview broadcast on Star TV on Tuesday evening.
The main opposition party leader’s request was first put forward on the final day of the 5-day parliamentary debate on the 2022 state budget on Saturday, when he called on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to step down and hold a national vote.
He explained that his reasoning behind his request for snap elections derives from the implications of a study conducted by epidemiologists Sotiris Tsiodras and Theodoros Lytras on mortality rates in Greek hospital ICUs.
Tsipras claims that Mitsotakis turned a blind eye to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Greek prime minister was aware of the existence of this report,” claimed Tsipras, “and of its conclusion that a 38.5 pct of coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the national health system had been strengthened, which relates to some 8,000 families.”
Greece is currently registering double the number of deaths per one million people than the European average, he highlighted.
SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Central Committee Secretary Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, while speaking to ANT1 TV on Tuesday, also expressed hope that a new election will be called.
“He must call a general election now and leave as soon as possible. There is no other way to avoid mourning more victims [of the pandemic] and to save human lives,” Tzanakopoulos said.
He strongly attacked the government’s handling of the pandemic and accused the prime minister “of constantly lying,” and of “having not the least desire for self-criticism but only arrogance.”
According to Tzanakopoulos, the prime minister had thrice announced the end of the pandemic and was clearly “neither willing nor able to manage the fifth wave of the pandemic that is on our doorstep”.
SYRIZA’s Committee Secretary said that Greece had now lost 20,000 people to the pandemic and the government had “not changed its tack” in the slightest.
“Thousands of people are now being treated by a collapsing National Health System, the morale of medical and nursing staff is broken and we have up to 130 deaths a day. A whole town has been lost since the start of the pandemic…” he said.