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Censure motion over storm fails against Greek government

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, rear center, listens to leader of the main opposition Syriza party Alexis Tsipras during a parliament session in Athens, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. Greek lawmakers participated in the last of a three-day debate on a censure motion brought by the main opposition party against the government over its handling of a severe snowstorm earlier in the week that left thousands of drivers stranded on major roads in the Greek capital and knocked out power to some areas for days. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A censure motion brought by the main opposition party against the Greek government over its handling of a severe snowstorm last Monday has been rejected after a three-day debate.

Lawmakers voted 156-142 against the motion after an often-acrimonious debate in which former prime minister and current opposition leader Alexis Tsipras criticized Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The result was expected, as the ruling center-right New Democracy holds 157 seats in the 300-member Parliament. A ruling party lawmaker was hospitalized, and another one, expelled last October, voted “present.”

Tsipras accused Mitsotakis of having “retreated into a bubble created by court jesters and incompetent pollsters,” and of being “politically finished.” He dared the prime minister to resign and call a new election, a year and a half before the end of the government’s four-year term.

The Greek opposition leader painted a bleak picture of a country where citizens are unable to live even paycheck to paycheck, with a gutted national health system.

In his response, Mitsotakis acknowledged deficiencies in dealing with the snowstorm, but highlighted his government’s achievements, noting that his government had doubled the number of intensive care units and hired 12,000 health workers. He promised an era of prosperity when the effects of the pandemic receded.


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