The conservative government picked up the gauntlet Thursday after main opposition SYRIZA tabled a censure motion in the wake of a severe snowstorm that exposed the State’s unpreparedness to deal with a severe snowstorm that paralyzed transport in Athens, prompting a rare apology from the prime minister.
Ruling officials played down the move as a “fully anticipated political stunt” aimed at bolstering the leftist party’s stagnant poll numbers, also amid fresh competition from the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance, now under a new leader, Nikos Androulakis.
New Democracy is polling around 10 points ahead of SYRIZA, despite mounting criticism over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and soaring prices.
ND officials said that Kyriakos Mitsotakis is ready for an in-depth discussion responding to every one of Tsipras’ questions.
The government, which controls 157 seats in the 300-strong House, is certain to survive the vote, which will take place after a two-day debate Sunday.
SYRIZA officials, who have previously called for early elections, deem that the timing was right for a censure motion designed to showcase that the New Democracy administration, which Alexis Tsipras Thursday described as “the worst government of the Metapolitefsi (the period following the restoration of democracy in 1974),” is “out of touch with society.”
Analysts however see the move as a bid by Tsipras to overcome SYRIZA’s navel-gazing caused by inner-party strife ahead of the upcoming conference, while also putting pressure on KINAL to take a clear stand vis-a-vis the government. Androulakis said Thursday his party would back the motion.