SYRIZA’s Iliopoulos lashes gov’t over handling of pandemic, Karaivaz murder

The government has “completely lost control of the pandemic” and the trust of society, while the murder of journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was a severe blow to democracy and the freedom of the press under its watch, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nasos Iliopoulos said on Sunday in an interview on Alpha 98.9 FM radio.

He again criticised the government for not taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus in work places and public transport and for not following an aggressive policy on testing, noting that “tests cannot be a matter of personal responsibility when the rapid tests on asymptomatic [carriers] show significant deviations…”
Iliopoulos also criticised the reopening of schools on the precise same terms as they were closed, with higher numbers of pupils per class and by making children and their families responsible for finding and isolating possible cases of Covid-19.

On the economic front, Iliopoulos said that hundreds of thousands of workers were struggling to survive on furlough pay, while the government was preparing a bankruptcy law that will lead thousands of small and medium-sized companies to fold and refusing to take steps for a settlement of private debt created during the pandemic, as well as preparing a new bill scrapping labour rights.

“…the abolition of the eight-hour day, establishing unpaid 10-hour shifts, promoting individual labour contracts – measures that reduce worker incomes and do away with any sense of personal and family life,” Iliopoulos said.

He emphasised that the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis bore political responsibility for the Karaivaz murder: “It was an organised, mafia-style murder. Unfortunately, the minister responsible, [Citizen Protection Minister Michalis] Chrisochoidis, is grievously exposed. Instead of having an awareness of his responsibility, he came out and spoke of a success story in terms of fighting crime… The same minister that let the convicted second-in-command of Golden Dawn, Nikos Pappas, slip through his fingers and who is responsible for the Fourthiotis scandal – a scandal that is proof of the decaying institutions of the country,” Iliopoulos said.