NEWS

ND leader attacks Tsipras over migrant crisis, says Greece at ‘ground zero’

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New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis stepped up his criticism of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday, accusing him of having led Greece to “ground zero.”

“The refugee crisis is out of control, the economy is on life support, society is boiling; nothing is progressing, Greece is approaching ground zero,” he said at the start of a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.

“The only person who does not feel this way is the man that led us here,” he added. “Mr Tsipras has lost control right at the time that the country needs leadership.”

Mitsotakis also accused the SYRIZA-led government of encouraging migrants to come to Greece through an open-door policy and the closure of detention centers.

After his introductory statement, journalists were ushered out of the meeting, which focused largely on party issues. Kathimerini understands that complaints were aired by Mitsotakis and other party officials about lackluster performances by many conservative MPs. The absence of a number of the party’s lawmakers when Mitsotakis addresses Parliament was one of the examples given.

The ND leader is expected to present on Thursday his plans for dealing with the party’s dire finances, which included debts of more than 200 million euros.

The former minister has already instructed the party to move to headquarters that will cost 9,800 euros per month rather than the previous 90,000. However, it is also expected he will reduce staff numbers from around 200 to 100.