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Tsipras: SYRIZA to approve frigate deal, but no ‘carte blanche’ in spending

Tsipras: SYRIZA to approve frigate deal, but no ‘carte blanche’ in spending

Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, head of the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, on Tuesday told parliament that his party supports the purchase of the new French frigates but is not prepared to give the government “carte blanche” regarding armaments spending.

“No one doubts the importance of increasing the country’s deterrent capacity but it is audacity to wag your finger at us because we won’t give you a carte blanche,” Tsipras said during a debate in parliament on Tuesday to approve a 3-billion-euro deal for three new French-made frigates.

He noted that the defence of the country cannot “stand unless it serves a concerted foreign and economic policy.” He also accused the prime minister of using the opposition’s statements and positions out of context in the political debate, while he criticised the government’s policy on dealing with price hikes, saying “it leaves society unprotected”.

Tsipras critized Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis for talking about prudent management “at a time when you voted for seven billion in armaments – seven billion without even one euro going to the defence industry.”

He also criticised the ruling Conservatives over a video that presented the Rafale aircraft purchases not as a national asset but “with ND’s party emblem.”

[AMNA]