NEWS

Handouts will be judged at Sunday's polls, says PM

TAGS: Politics

The SYRIZA government and a package of relief measures and tax breaks it announced earlier this month will be judged by voters at this Sunday's European Parliament and local elections, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.

“Given the climate polarization the opposition has chosen in which to conduct this contest, citizens needs to know that these polls are a vote of confidence in these measures or a mandate for their abolition,” Tsipras said in an interview with Antenna television, referring to a controversial package of measures that includes reductions to value-added tax on several products, a one-off bonus for pensioners and a reduction of Greece's primary surplus targets.

Defending the handout package, which has caused concern among creditors and markets regarding Greece's ability to meet fiscal performance targets, Tsipras said that the measures are designed to “turn the prosperity of the numbers into prosperity for the people.”

He also accused the opposition New Democracy party of putting forward a program that is aimed only “at the prosperity of the few.”

“Citizens know what is going on – regardless of what politicians tell them – pensioners know they lost 40 percent of their pension between 2010 and 2014,” Tsipras added, referring to a period around the start of the crisis and up until when his SYRIZA party came to power.

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