Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday night challenged opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis to a televised debate ahead of general elections, which the government insists will take place as scheduled in October rather than earlier, as widely rumored.
Speaking at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in southern Athens during a presentation of his SYRIZA party's candidates for the upcoming elections for European Parliament, Tsipras chided the New Democracy chief of “always coming second and in a sweat” in television appearances.
“I can recommend a way for him to also get ratings that would be suitable to a leader of the main opposition party: show up for a face-to-face confrontation with me, without the Autocue, without notes,” Tsipras said.
The leftist prime minister also appeared confident of victory in the upcoming European polls, which are seen as a litmus test for the government's performance in the national race afterwards.
“We the forces of progress and democracy have not had our final say. We will not allow the far right and neoliberalism to do sweep through Europe,” Tsipras told the audience, adding that SYRIZA's ticket for the European elections consists of people who are “jewels in their country, in their work and in their social environment.”