Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras launched a scathing attack against the opposition and the “old political system” in Greek Parliament.
Tsipras chose the strategy “the best defense is to attack” as his administration is mired in problems stemming from the austerity measures, the bad state of the economy, the Church-education ministry squabble on religion courses and the controversial television license tender.
The prime minister defended the education ministry changes in religious studies claiming that the previous emphasis on Greek Orthodoxy catechism no longer suits a society of various religions. He said that Greek Orthodox religion is still at the core of religion courses. He also reiterated the position that the roles of church and state in the debate on education should be distinct and welcomed the positions of the Church of Greece.
On the changes in private education and the state intervention on certain aspects of private schools, Tsipras accused the opposition of catering to vested interests and for having special relations with private school owners and especially those “with expensive schools.”
On the issue of television licensing and the controversial auction, Tsipras said that there is a campaign of “dark propaganda and slander from the old political system.” He called the existing television stations “systemic instruments.” “We cannot allow some people to cover the country in darkness,” he said.
The prime minister attacked specifically main opposition New Democracy claiming they are “against the government in the battle against vested interests and adopt the most extreme positions of creditors.” He said that the conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis opposes Tsipras’ fight against corruption because he wants to maintain the corrupt triangle between media owners, banks and previous governments.
He also said that “Reforms for New Democracy mean layoffs, deregulation of the labor market, selling off of public wealth and demolition of the welfare state.”
Tsipras referred to the second bailout program evaluation saying that it “will close on time and the debt issue will be discussed for the first time at European level.”
Finally, Tsipras accepted Mitsotakis’ challenge to discuss corruption in parliament on Thursday’s session.
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