Insecurity is the predominant feeling currently gripping an overwhelming majority of Greek people, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday.
Tsipras made the statement while meeting the management of TIF-Helexpo, the company that organises the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF, and he accused the government of having "allowed Thessaloniki to lag behind" in the last two years.
"The crucial and important thing is for the activity of TIF to start again. The exhibition is here and continues to be a developmental pole for Thessaloniki, as well as a very important event for the Greek economy and small and middle-sized businesses," he added.
Conditions in the real economy were extremely difficult, Tsipras said, with a wave of unprecedented price rises following the pandemic and slashing the purchasing power of households and businesses while creating a generalised feeling of uncertainty, both about the crisis in health and future earnings.
Criticising the government, he said it "did not wish to have Thessaloniki as the epicentre of big events and international meetings," as SYRIZA had attempted to do, but also that "very important projects for the city are lagging behind and some are entirely unaccounted for, such as the transit centre at the Gonou army base, the Egnatia highway rail link, the port, major problems with quality of life, transportation and public transport."
Commenting on plans for a redevelopment of the TIF site, he said these should produce the maximum amount of open and green space, noting that Thessaloniki was the city with the smallest proportion of greenspace per resident in the Balkans and the EU.