Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, head of the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, told parliament that his party supports the purchase of the new frigates but is not prepared to give the government “carte blanche” regarding armaments spending.
“No one doubts the importance of increasing the country’s deterrent capacity but it is audacity to wag your finger at us because we won’t give you a carte blanche,” Tsipras said during a debate in parliament on Tuesday to approve defence agreements for new armaments systems.
He noted that the defence of the country cannot “stand unless it serves a concerted foreign and economic policy.”
He also accused the prime minister of using the opposition’s statements and positions out of context in the political debate, while he criticised the government’s policy on dealing with price hikes, saying “it leaves society unprotected”.
As an example of the “stalling tactics” employed, he cited the prime minister’s response to the main opposition’s accusations that the government spent 5.0 billion euros in direct assignments, when Mitsotakis asked whether this included the purchase of Rafale fighter jets.
The prime minister was talking about prudent management “at a time when you voted for seven billion in armaments – seven billion without even one euro going to the defence industry,” Tsipras added.
He also called on the prime minister to not use defence issues for political benefit, criticising a ruling New Democracy video that presented the Rafale aircraft purchases not as a national asset but “with ND’s party emblem”.