Greek government faces confidence vote after botched blizzard response

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Greece’s main opposition leader, Alexis Tsipras, has filed a motion of no confidence in the government, saying its bungled response to a winter blizzard this week showed it was no longer fit for office.

Submitting the censure motion, Tsipras said the administration of Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was “the worst the country has known” since the collapse of military rule in 1974.

“On behalf of SYRIZA – Progressive Alliance’s parliamentary group, I submit a motion of censure against the worst government the country has known since the fall of the dictatorship. There are no dead ends in a democracy,” Mitsotakis said.

READ MORE: Heavy snow blankets Athens, Greek islands causing major disruptions.

“Because we have the obligation to turn rage and despair into a force of political change, my conviction is that this government has to go as soon as possible… It has to go before it is too late – too late for society, the country and democracy.”

Tsipras said the government failed in every emergency of the past few years, such as the wildfires that devastated parts of Attica and Evia last summer, the COVID-19 pandemic and the snowstorms – both this week’s and last winter’s.

READ MORE: Army called out in Greece to help repair widespread damage from snowstorm.

An estimated 4,000 drivers were left stranded in cars for hours in sub-zero temperatures as the storm pounded Athens on Wednesday. The Greek army and municipal crews were called in to evacuate motorists trapped in their vehicles.

Photo: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis.

Mitsotakis apologised for the state’s lack of preparedness, accepting “mistakes and shortcomings” in its handling of the snowstorm known as Elpis.

READ MORE: Greek PM apologises for snowstorm ordeal which left thousands stranded.

Tsipras’ move means there will be three days of parliamentary debate and this will end with a vote on Sunday night.

The government, which has been in office since July 2019, said the motion offered an opportunity for it to outline its achievements on multiple fronts.

Source: The Guardian.

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