Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed the main opposition parties in Parliament on Friday night for refusing to support part of the multi-bill Greece needs to pass to receive another 2 billion euros of bailout funding.
Speaking ahead of a midnight vote on the measures that his government was expected to win, Tsipras accused New Democracy, PASOK and Potami, which backed the third bailout during summer votes, of opportunism.
“There are no new measures, there are just difficult measures that we all knew about when we voted for the agreement in August,” the premier said.
“What exactly are you pretending to be today? Against the memorandum? For five years you agreed to do whatever the lenders told you without negotiating.”
Tsipras also brushed off criticism about his failure to remove State Minister Alekos Flambouraris and Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis over omissions in their derivation of wealth forms (“pothen esches”).
“You have found no real evidence that backs up claims of corruption,” he told opposition MPs. “The government will not cover up cases of graft or tax evasion.”
The prime minister added that his government was submitting an amendment that would give tax authorities a one-year extension to investigate suspected cases of tax evasion before the statute of limitations could apply to those particular cases.
The government said yesterday that following the approval of the multi-bill, it would submit to Parliament legislation paving the way for a new tender for broadcasting permits. The bill was handed yesterday to the State General Accounting Office, which has to produce a report assessing the economic impact of the draft legislation before it can go to Parliament. It is due to be submitted to the House on Monday.
The government argues that the new tender will increase transparency in broadcasting and break ties between media owners and political parties.
“We are living up to our pledge,” said Tsipras. “I hope you keep your pledge to vote for this major reform for our political system,” he told the opposition.