Tsipras defends gov’t term, says will fight to win in elections
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to defend his four-year term in power during an interview with private broadcaster Skai on Tuesday night, ending a one-year boycott of the channel which he described as partisan.
“I am prepared to fight and win. Nobody should assume they'll win. Greek people have not yet made their final decision,” he told the TV channel.
Asked about the defeat his party suffered in the European elections, he said he believed it reflected voters' fatigue and the disappointment of the people who wanted an easier and faster exit from the bailouts.
He also defends the government's 2015 standoff with the country's creditors, saying he has "paid the price" for the people he had selected in key posts.
Asked on the government's rush to select Greece's top judicial officials after calling general elections, Tsipras argued that the process was already underway, noting the government had “an obligation" not to leave a headless judiciary.
He said President Prokopis Pavlopoulos told him in a meeting that he will not announce his decision on the Supreme Court appointments the week before the elections to avoid making it part of the political confrontation.
Asked about the penal code changes which may allow convicted terrorists to be released conditionally, Tsipras described the issue as “fake news,” adding that the new penal code "was not made inside Maximos Mansion" (his office), but was prepared "by respectable jurists."
Commenting on the deadly fires in the seaside resort town of Mati last year, he says he had information during a meeting at the fire department headquarter that there might be “one of two dead.”
On the Prespes accord Greece signed with North Macedonia last year, Tsipras accused main opposition New Democracy of "unbelievable hypocrisy," saying the party had already agreed to the use of the name Macedonia in 2005.