Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday he “won’t oblige” New Democracy with early elections during a heated plenary session in Parliament to discuss the results of an investigative committee probing the funding of political parties and media.
“Recklessness is useful stupidity,” Tsipras said, adding that New Democracy is calling for elections so as to hand over the people and the country “to the most extreme creditors.”
“We won’t do you the favor,” the prime minister said during an acrimonious exchange with New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis which at times got personal.
Insisting on the country’s need for a reformist government, Mitsotakis for his part addressed Tsipras, saying, “it makes no difference if you can’t or if you don’t want to, you have no right to take us over the cliff,” referring to the stalled negotiations to wrap up the second review of the country’s third bailout and the recent Grexit talk that has resurfaced, even from within the ruling SYRIZA party.
Tsipras, however, appeared oblivious to the gloom with regard to the country’s situation, citing the positive results of the economy, appearing optimistic that the review will be swiftly concluded and trying to put a lid on fresh speculation of a Grexit.
However, he failed to explain exactly how the review will be swiftly concluded, limiting himself to saying that “it will be concluded without concession on issues of principle.”
But Mitsotakis painted a dire picture of the country under the SYRIZA-led coalition.
“Opportunities were missed, the problems have multiplied, and most important of all, hope has been replaced by fear, and we must fight it,” he said.
Tsipras shot back saying that the demands made by the International Monetary Fund were to blame for the current impasse in negotiations.
“The IMF’s demands go beyond any democratic and constitutional logic and value,” he said, and called on New Democracy to take a stance on the issue.
“Do you agree or not with the extreme measures demanded by the IMF?” he asked conservatives, who, he added, are only interested in coming back to power “to plunder the country again.”