Tsipras to Mitsotakis: You're wearing IMF's jersey; Mitsotakis: You've revived Grexit speculation

Friday, 17 February 2017 13:56
UPD:13:57
INTIME NEWS/ΜΠΑΛΤΑΣ ΚΩΣΤΑΣ

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Kyriakos Mitsotakis had requested the debate on citizens' security and crime rates, in the wake of several organized raids by self-styled anarchist gangs against mass transit ticket machines and even the torching of trolley buses in the middle of Athens.

An off-the-agenda "brunch-time" debate in Greece's Parliament on Friday, ostensibly held on the issue of citizens' security and charges of rising crime rates, more-or-less expectedly veered  towards the still delayed second review of the Greek bailout program, along with charges and counter-charges lobbed between the prime minister and the main opposition leader.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Kyriakos Mitsotakis had requested the debate on citizens' security and crime rates, in the wake of several organized raids by self-styled anarchist gangs against mass transit ticket machines and even the torching of trolley buses in the middle of Athens.

"I am not downplaying the issue, but it is not timely," leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras responded from Parliament's podium, adding that crime exists in the country for many years now.

In bypassing the substance of the debate, Tsipras then launched into an attack against Mitsotakis for his separate meetings in Berlin earlier in the week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

 "What you (Mitsotakis) did with your presence in Berlin is wretched. You said you wore the national colors, but instead you wore the IMF's jersey and said Greece (the Greek government) is responsible for the delays (in the second review)," Tsipras thundered, using a football metaphor.

"You accuse us of not concluding the 25 percent (of the draft agreement) that remains (unresolved), even as you know that it has to do with excessive demands, ones that are not justified," Tsipras said.

After first blaming the leftist-rightist coalition government for what he charged was a recent spike in very high-profile instances of violence and crime, especially in the greater Athens area, Mitsotakis reminded that the review should have been concluded with creditors in February, not the current month but in 2016.

"You brought back the black cloud of the drachma," Mitsotakis stressed, referring to a rekindled speculation over a possible "Grexit" and a hasty return to a national currency. "You have pigeonholed the country to a dangerous and slippery path; where you want to go is something only you know," the ND leader said. 

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