Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has challenged all opposition parties to take a straight position and say whether they support the government’s negotiations strategy with the country’s creditors.
“Will you support the negotiations strategy to put an end to austerity or will you continue to acts as the mouthpieces of the initiators of the Memorandum?” Tsipras asked directly all opposition parties in an extraordinary plenary session at the Greek Parliament Monday evening.
He criticized the previous governments since 2010 and said that the previous governments did not carry out reforms that “the country needed” and they “ignored the Memorandum of Understanding demands on corruption and transparency.”
“What structural reform did you do? Lay-offs are not structural reforms, neither the cuts,” Tsipras stressed accusing the previous governments that they did not do any reforms, they just embraced austerity.
Addressing the previous coalition government partners Nea Dimokratia and PASOK, Tsipras told them “You governed by email for 5 years, executing orders, and executing the Greek people.”
Alexis Tsipras had called for this extraordinary Plenary session, in fact an open debate with party leaders, in order to ask the support of the opposition parties as the standoff between Greece and the Institutions in Brussels continues with little progress, while the debt-ridden country is at risk to run out of money and be unable to pay April obligations to its creditors.
Tsipras was reportedly to inform the opposition on the Eurogroup agreements, the negotiations with the creditors and review the governmental work and the several acts of legislation the new Greek government passed to address the humanitarian crisis, to make settlement for arrears to the state and the social insurance funds, among others.
Other key points form Tsipras’ speech:
*From the first day the government of social salvation took office we said that we are turning the page. The country is not a memorandum colony anymore, the Greek people are the protagonists.
*Τhere is no secret diplomacy, the Greek people are being kept informed of progress and content of talk
But we heard no briefing on the Eurogroup agreements so far. Tsipras is expected to deliver a second speech later.
Main opposition leader and former Prime MinisterAntonis Samaras took the floor and a started his speech saying in a deep manly voice:
“I will speak straightforward, I come from a man’s school”
Samaras attacked Tsipras personally and the government in general and criticized the government alleging that it was lying to the people, that it takes the country to a third MoU. Samaras said that he will not support any further taxation-attacks.
Samaras main points are:
*Nea Dimokratia support the gvoenrment if it follows ND’s policies.
* Tsipras’ problem is the opposition within SYRIZA.
More details of Samaras’ speech here (in Greek) and here (in English)
After Samaras’ concluded his speech, Parliament Speaker Zoi Konstantopoulou said she will not accept racist and sexist comments. Samaras spoke of “hordes of migrants who have conquered the center of Athens.”
Then she handed the floor to Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, who recently came out from custody after 18 months passed without a trial. Michaloliakos mainly attacked Nea Dimokratia.
Stavros Theodorakis from To Potami spoke but… some observers claim they did not understand what points he made in his remarks.
KTG understood: Theodorakis said that he would “support the government in in fighting corruption et cetera(?)” and set to conclude saying ” you will find us in opposition in things like …ah! The education!”. He talked several minutes but he had lost the big picture ans the speech thread … or kind of, whatever.
Dimitris Koutsoumpas from Communist KKE spoke and did not leave any space for any support to the government. Business as usual, nothing else would have been expected.
Now Evaggelos Venizelos from PASOK speaking about Law & governmental work and accuses the government for telling “lies”. He talked for quite a long time but I missed his main points. I admit, I had to turn off the voice…
It’s Independent Greeks turn to speak at the Parliament, leader and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos is absent. He is replaced by Parliament Group spokesman Nikos Nikolopoulos.
Sorry, I cannot follow hi speech. He is too theatrical and moans too much. As the party is SYRIZA’s coalition partner, he will support – of course.
PM Alexis Tsipras took the floor again to reply to the opposition parties especially Nea Dimokratia.
Tsipras accused Samaras of trying to protect the oligarchs, as he does not backs the government on the tender process for broadcasting licenses.
He said that Nea Dimokrati’s policies are further cuts and austerity.
He rejected oppositions’ accusations that a 3. MoU is under way.
“The country has not undertaken any international commitment and any obligation towards the lenders.”
Short before 12 midnight Antonis Smaras took his lawmakers and left the Plenray Hall after the Parliament Speaker gave the floor to Minister Katrougalos.
I/m not sure it was because of Katrougalso or out of fear that they would turn into pumpkins sharp 12….
Epic Sidenote: Antonis Samaras complained to Parliament Speaker that she does not let him conclude and she rings the bell to stop him.
Samaras: you ring the bell earlier.
Parliement Speaker: I don’t. It rings automatically.
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I think Samaras had the best line when he said that Tsipras thought he would get money without terms and ended up getting terms without money.
Does it matter who is for or against the government’s negotiations strategy? Greece is dictated by the financial world, IMF and then the EU.
Greece tries to get help from Russia? Russia is living on their own helpfund. Does Tsipras really think he is the man to be the bridging figure between Russia and the West? And Russia or China will give no money in return for nothing, but that is what Tsipras expects from the EU money for no terms. Perhaps the EU has to buy Piraes harbour instead of giving loans.
It would help for trust sake that Tsipras focus on the list and the financial position of Greece instead of visting everybody who is probably against the EU or perhaps wants to help (in return for ….?).
Time is ticking and more than two months of doing nothing has been passed, when does the Greek government ends this? By giving in or an exit or the Drachme again or …? I thought the main purpose was to avoid poverty. At this moment this government is not helping, they seems to make the economic situation in Greece worse in just a few months. Hopefully the situation will change for better before Greece runs out of money.