The popular measures introduced by the government are permanent and not campaign handouts, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday evening, in an extensive interview on Alpha TV station’s main newscast.
- National elections will be held as expected in October, and the measures had been announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September 2018, Tsipras said in response to opposition criticism that he is currying favour with voters ahead of the May 26 local government elections.
Measures include a payback scheme for outstanding debts to the social security funds and tax bureau and a bonus to pensioners, among others.
- Tsipras began his interview by criticising main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsoakis, of New Democracy (ND), blaming him for turning the European Parliament elections on May 26 into a “match” and asserting that “there is no chance, not one in a million, that Kyriakos Mitsotakis will win the national elections” that will be held in October, at the end of term for this government.
- Referring to May 26, when local government elections will also be held, the premier said that SYRIZA will come out at top and provide “a complete collapse of the fraud Mr. Mitsotakis has tried to perpetrade through mass media about the so-called collapse of Syriza.” The party leader added, “These are the messages I’m getting from the Greek rural areas.”
Greece is no longer under any loan memoranda, Tsipras further said, and the sovereign Greek government has its own targets and its own ways of fulfilling these targets. “No European technocrat will tell us what to do,” Tsipras told Alpha.