Tsipras, Stournaras clash in Parl’t over privatizations

The head of the main leftist opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras clashed in Parliament again on Friday with the former accusing the latter of being «a representative of the troika,» referring to Greece’s international creditors — the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“We will not allow you to shrink our democracy and turn Greece into one big Manolada where a third of the population is unemployed,» Tsipras said, referring to the small town in Ilia, in the Peloponnese, where three strawberry farm supervisors opened fire on Bangladeshi workers on Wednesday.

Responding, Stournaras accused Tsipras of appealing to the «lower instincts» of the Greek people and criticized the opposition leader for giving out confusing messages about his party’s stance on Greece’s loan agreement with creditors.

The exchange of barbs came after Tsipras submitted a question to Parliament about the operation of Greece’s privatization fund, TAIPED. Tsipras said the fund was operating beyond parliamentary control and complained that all issues relating to the fund were being imposed by emergency decrees rather than being put to a vote in the House.

“We are a country which has the largest state wealth as a percentage of gross domestic product and Parliament gets updated by committees on the privatization of state assets,» Stournaras responded, adding that if SYRIZA wanted a more detailed briefing, it could consult TAIPED directly.

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