Greek PM says gov’t will complete term, pledges handouts
In a wide-ranging TV interview Monday Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reiterated his intention to complete his four-year term in office, which ends in October, saying it is a “strategic choice” while also hinting that more relief measures of a permanent nature will be mooted after the Easter holidays.
Moreover, he vowed that no SYRIZA government will allow a reduction of the tax threshold that is planned for 2020.
The interview with Antenna TV was held against the backdrop of looming European and local elections next month, with opinion polls suggesting a double-digit gap with opposition New Democracy.
Referring to the opinion polls, he said they do not reflect the true picture and claimed that there is a “silent wave” that will determine the outcome of the elections.
With regard to criticism that downtown Athens has been surrendered to lawlessness, Tsipras conceded that the problem in the Exarchia neighborhood had deteriorated over the years.
He noted that the problem cannot be dealt with by way of a policy of “oppression” but requires a comprehensive blueprint that will revamp the area.
Tsipras also defended the Prespes accord with North Macedonia – which polls suggest harmed the popularity of his ruling SYRZA party – insisting the deal was of historic significance and boosted Greece’s international image.
And given these benefits accruing to Greece, he said he could not allow the consideration of a political cost to stop him and his government from proceeding with the agreement. On the contrary, he said, the deal has provided SYRIZA with an opportunity to bring together a front of progressive forces.