PM Tsipras: Vote of confidence ‘a duty towards parliament and Greek people’

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of “theatricality” and of “shouting without substantive arguments,” during the debate in parliament over a vote of confidence on Wednesday evening.

“I called for this debate and the process of a vote of confidence in full understanding of the historicity of the times, and mainly with a complete sense of my duty toward parliament, the Greek people, and democracy,” Tsipras said.

He said he had the option of “hiding behind a vote of censure by the opposition,” but he told Mitsotakis “you would not win it, you would not be able to find 151 deputies supporting it.”

“I have taken the risk of asking for clear solutions,” he said.

The prime minister also charged Mitsotakis of demanding a vote of confidence and then not having the courage to table a motion of censure. “Now that I have dared (table a motion for confidence), you have an issue with it again,” Tsipras said, and called on each deputy to assume their patriotic and national duty.

Addressing himself to parties of the opposition, said, “You commit an injustice to yourselves with the criticism you exercise,” and said that his government needs to complete the critical issues ahead and requires the full confidence of parliament’s majority to reach the end of his full term in October 2019.

During his address – the last speech before the roll-call vote – Tsipras said that FYROM’s note verbale informing Greece that it had completed the terms of the Prespes Agreement just reached Athens, and told Mitsotakis there will be plenty of time to discuss it. He also challenged him to a TV channel of his choice.

The note verbale, he said, will clarify certain things in the most explicit and unquestionable way. “What do our neighbours clarify in this document, which is legally binding and repeats the terms of the Agreement?” Tsipras asked. “First, that the term ‘nationality’ refers exclusively to citizenship and neither declares nor presupposes the issue of ethnicity,” he continued. “Second, that the language of our neighbours, as referred to in the Agreement and recognized by the UN conference of 1977 belongs to the group of south Slavic languages.”

“So what do we have here, Mr. Mitsotakis? The full and complete deconstruction of the excuses you discovered in order to hide from the historical obligation allotted to you and your party,” Tsipras concluded.