The government’s credibility “is unraveling like a sweater,” and this, in combination with its “absolute failure in managing the pandemic and the accumulated fatigue of citizens is creating an explosive mix of social discontent,” leading opposition chief Alexis Tsipras said on Monday.
Speaking to his SYRIZA party’s parliamentary group in Athens, Tsipras accused the conservative administration of taking too much credit for the first big lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, saying that while the decision was a success, the health crisis quickly went off the rails after restriction were lifted.
He said that the reopening of tourism in the early summer of 2020 was carried out “without a plan,” while accusing the government of deliberately failing to prop up the public health system and of “completely amateurish” monitoring of the epidemiological data.
The combination of these failures, Tsipras added, “led to a protracted and ineffective lockdown of five months, the longest in Europe, and the simultaneous collapse of public hospitals.”
Tsipras insisted that the government must adopt a new policy mix for managing the health crisis that will ease pressure on the public health system while allowing economic activity to resume.
“The tragedy of the situation will be revealed as soon as the veil of pseudo-support for businesses and workers is dropped,” he said of the economic impact of the extended lockdown.
Tsipras went on to warn that “public discontent will become more intense” over the next few weeks and months, but said that he does not expect the government to “fall like a ripe fruit.”