Tensions were high in the Greek parliament Tuesday, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis clashed during the debate over the bill regarding the scrapping of the pension cuts measure.
However, it was the controversial Prespes Agreement that took centre stage in the debate. The extreme political climate and turbulence within the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government, triggered by the controversial Prespes Agreement and the “Macedonian” ethnicity and language statements by FYROM’s government, was confirmed in a fierce confrontation between Alexis Tsipras and Kyriacos Mitsotakis in the House.
Commenting on his government’s decision to distribute money via the scrapping of the pension cuts, Mr Tsipras said it was the result of a well thought out plan.
“It is offensive to characterise the provision as a benefit. Offensive to citizens who for years have been deprived of basic things. People have been watching you vote for cuts only. Today is the time they will be rewarded for their sacrifices. So it is an insult to them referring to provisions. They are not gifts, but necessary breathers,” he said.
On his part, the president of New Democracy (ND) accused the PM of “selling out” the Macedonian issue for the scrapping of the pension cuts. “I do not know how proud you feel about being the longest standing PM in the era of the memorandum”, Mr Mitsotakis said.
Continuing on the Macedonian issue, Mr Mitsotakis said that even Bulgaria did not recognise the “Macedonian” language and nationality “because that is where irredentism lurked”.
“You suffer from general speechlessness”, Mr Mitsotakis said addressing the PM.