Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis clashed again on Friday night, ahead of a confidence vote in the government, though the rhetoric was less intense than Wednesday’s personal exchange.
As expected, the government won the confidence vote with 153 MPs supporting it and 136 opposing it.
In his speech before the vote, Tsipras claimed that, despite his criticism, Mitsotakis actually agrees with the social benefits the premier announced earlier this week, while also condemning the conservative leader’s economic program as being “pro-elite.”
Meanwhile Mitsotakis, whose party is leading leftist SYRIZA in public opinion polls, said Tsipras should call snap general elections if he loses the European Parliament polls later this month.
The European elections will “be a vote of disapproval for the worst government Greece has known since the restoration of democracy,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the end of the country’s 1967-1974 military dictatorship.
Both leaders claimed not to be to blame for Wednesday’s ugly exchange in the House.
Tsipras said it was not his choice for tensions to rise to the extent that they did, claiming that ND aims to turn the pre-election period into an “arena.” Mitsotakis, for his part, blamed the PM for setting the tone.