The SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Political Council held today a phone conference under Alexis Tsipras, during which the current situation regarding the progression of the coronavirus epidemic in Greece was assessed, alongside the state of the economy. The developments in the European Union were also discussed in detail, with an emphasis on the decisions that were concluded at yesterday’s Eurogroup.
In this context, the Political Council pointed out that in the field of public health it was imperative that the government, without any further delay, took all necessary steps to strengthen the National Health System with the immediate recruitment of doctors and nursing staff in order to shield hospitals and health clinics across the country.
The immediate recruitment of all primary health care structures in the fight against the pandemic, including health centers, regional clinics and local health units.
The equipment for all front-line workers, such as doctors and nurses, with adequate protection.
The recruitment of private hospitals to add to the capacity of the national system and increase the number of ICUs, and to prepare for the projected surge of outbreaks.
And finally, the mass carry-out of diagnostic tests for both medical staff and citizens, as recommended by the World Health Organization and already implemented by many countries.
In the field of economy, according to the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Political Council, a brave injection of liquidity is necessary in order not to lead the country to recession. SYRIZA has tabled a comprehensive and costed proposal that includes front-loaded measures amounting to 26 billion euros to boost the economy and the labor force. It is essential that we act now in order to avoid small and medium enterprises from going out of business, to strengthen employment and to stimulate demand. Greece has the advantage of the 37 billion-euro safety cushion passed on by the SYRIZA administration. “We call on the government to take the necessary initiatives now so that the country does not fall back into recession and faces new challenges”, the Political Council notes.
As for the protection of primary residencies, the rejection by New Democracy of the amendment submitted by SYRIZA for the extension of its protection carries grave risks for thousands of our fellow citizens. In the midst of a pandemic, the Mitsotakis government is leaving thousands of borrowers vulnerable with the auctions as the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. “We call on the government to reconsider its decision and take steps to protect primary residencies”, the statement underlines.
In the field of labor relations, the Political Council highlights that it is clear that the Mitsotakis government views the pandemic crisis as an opportunity to implement extreme neo-liberal practices that are not enforced in any other European country. The measures taken by the competent ministry have the sole purpose of dismantling the labor market. The Mitsotakis government is the only government in Europe that subsidizes unemployment instead of labor. We demand that all anti-labor measures adopted by the government during the pandemic be taken back, while all layoffs that occurred in the middle of the crisis be cancelled.
Moving on to the European Union, the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Political Council points out that yesterday’s Eurogroup decision unfortunately did not rise to the occasion. The 540 billion euros to deal with the crisis constitutes an amount that cannot meet the urgent need to support the economies of the eurozone countries.
In addition, the persistence of the activation of the ESM credit line, which entails new austerity programs, shows that the EU leadership has not understood the magnitude of the crisis and insists on a failed and anti-social regime. A regime that, especially now, is a ticking bomb ready to blow up the foundations of Europe that is undergoing a crisis anyway.
The solution to this impasse, the announcement continues, can only come from shifting attention back to the risk-sharing and weight-sharing tool, in view of the discussion on the Recovery Fund. If this does not happen, we will soon face enormous deadlocks and possibly tectonic changes that will affect the very cohesion of the Union.
In the field of Democracy, the Political Council emphasizes that the strengthening of the media is a necessary component to protect transparency and pluralism. After all, it was our government that introduced the press aid program, which was canceled by the current government. Strengthening the press, therefore, is necessary. At the same time, however, this reinforcement must follow strict transparency rules in order to achieve the goal of shielding democracy. In this regard, we call for full information on all government actions related to the management of this fund.
Recently, the announcement concludes, the organizations of SYRIZA – Progressive Alliance upgraded their operation, by further utilizing electronic tools for communication. At the same time, these tools are being used in order for the Party to stay in contact with officials, chambers, trade unions and bodies to plan interventions in all areas amidst this crisis. /ibna