Tsipras defends handouts, calls on MPs to support government

Tsipras defends handouts, calls on MPs to support government

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on lawmakers to support the government in a confidence debate on Wednesday, saying this would maintain and strengthen the country's path towards economic growth.

The government called a confidence vote in response to a censure motion lodged by conservative opposition New Democracy (ND) against Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, following the latter’s comments about a conservative MEP candidate who is wheelchair-bound.

“I ask today once again the confidence of the Parliament on the plan we presented yesterday for the recovery of the Greek economy and the support of Greek society,” he said at the opening of his speech, and called on Greeks to vote for SYRIZA candidates in the European elections on May 26.

Tsipras defended the package of handouts and tax cuts he announced on Tuesday night, saying they are not “gifts” but are an effort to return to low-income Greeks “what was stolen” by then during the nine-year economic crisis.

Taking aim at ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he accused him of adopting the economic plan of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which he claimed he plans to implement if elected in government in the next general elections.

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