Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday hit back at criticism of his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the leftist opposition which he accused of failing to support the country’s inoculation program.
Responding to criticism from Alexis Tsipras during a debate in Parliament who claimed that Greece had one of the worst Covid-19 death rates in Europe, Mitsotakis accused the SYRIZA opposition leader of cherry-picking statistical data in a bid to undermine the government record. He said that the country, in fact, fared better than the EU average in terms of deaths per million of population.
“It is unfair as well as wrong to isolate data from specific weeks, rather than focus on the big picture,” Mitsotakis told the House.
The conservative leader furthermore accused Tsipras of “tolerating doublespeak” around the issue of vaccination inside his SYRIZA party, while describing ex-alternate health minister Pavlos Polakis as “the leader of Greece’s anti-vax movement.”
“Every time we tried to boost [Greece’s] vaccination rate, you would always find something to be critical about,” Mitsotakis said.
Tsipras had earlier alleged that Greece has one of Europe’s highest Covid-19 death rates, while accusing the government of downplaying the severity of the pandemic.
“We lose around 300 people [due to Covid-19] every week, that is roughly the population of a small village,” he said.
“[The government] is nevertheless acting as if the coronavirus is gone. You have arbitrarily decided that the pandemic is over,” Tsipras said, while accusing the conservatives of encouraging a mood of complacency among the public.
Tsipras also accused the New Democracy administration of failing to ramp up public healthcare during the health crisis, while criticizing the nationwide inoculation program for failing to create “a wall of immunity.”
There have been 693,886 infections and 15,375 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Greece since the pandemic began.
The country has administered at least 12,393,460 doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far. Assuming every individual needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have inoculated about 57.8% of the country’s population.