SYRIZA’s Iliopoulos: The national health system has reached its limits

“The government is exclusively responsible for the country finding itself unprepared for the second wave of the pandemic,” main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nassos Iliopoulos said on the radio “Sto Kokkino” on Monday. He said that scheduled surgeries were cancelled on Monday because the National Health System had reached its limits and accused the government that Greece “was the only country, in the midst of the pandemic, that has not hired permanent medical or nursing staff,” while only 12 of the 50 ICUs recently inaugurated at Sotiria hospital in Athens were actually operating, using staff transferred from other state hospitals.

Commenting on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statement that ‘we are at war’ against Covid-19, he said that “when you claim something like that, it means that you will proceed with the requisitioning of private ICUs and certainly not double the daily compensation to private owners as this government is doing.”

In terms of the reactions in the hospitality sector (bars, cafes, restaurants) ahead of the new measures, Iliopoulos underlined that “at this moment the government is leading thousands of enterprises to bankruptcy,” underlining that “the protection of life does not mean simply closing your business, after which it is your personal responsibility to survive.”

Speaking on an incident involving excessive use of force by the police in the Athens region of Galatsi on Sunday, which reports said included “the beating of a five-year-old by riot police,” Iliopoulos said that “(Citizen Protection Minister) Chrisochoidis is exposed in multiple ways because such phenomena of police repression are constant.” He added that “these kind of incidents show that we have a lot of work to do with fascism because there are many faces fo the extreme right inside the police and state mechanisms”.