Greece: Government wins confidence vote ahead of EU polls

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s left-wing government late Friday won a confidence vote called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras nearly two weeks before European Parliament elections.

Tsipras won the vote 153-136 following a heated three-day debate in parliament. His Syriza party has 145 seats in the 300-member assembly, but he also received support from eight independent lawmakers.

Greek political parties have been campaigning hard in recent weeks ahead of the May 26 European Parliament elections and concurrent two-round local government elections on May 26 and June 2.

Syriza is trailing rival conservatives in opinion polls, and faces national elections in October.

The vote of confidence followed a motion by the main opposition, the conservative New Democracy party, against a deputy health minister over his disparaging remarks about one of its politicians who uses a wheelchair.

Trending:
Man Uses Roommate's Razor, Days Later He Realizes Horrifying Bacteria Is Rapidly Eating His Face Away

Deputy Minister Pavlos Polakis said Stelios Kymbouropoulos, a conservative European Parliament candidate who has spinal muscular atrophy, had received preferential treatment in securing a state job in the national health system due to his disability.

Tsipras backed Polakis, who also sparked controversy by flouting laws against smoking in closed public areas, and requested the confidence vote on his entire government.

In their campaigning for the upcoming elections, political parties have made competing promises of tax relief and social spending programs following Greece’s exit last year from its eight-year bailout era that involved a wide array of austerity measures.

Draconian spending controls have eased slightly since the end of Greece’s third international bailout in August. The country has partly restored independent financing with two successful bond auctions earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the government announced a two-year austerity relief package that included an immediate reduction in several sales-tax categories and a reversal of some bailout-era pension cuts.

“We are presenting policies that will lift many people out of the crisis,” Tsipras said before the vote. “Greece of many and Greece of the elites are two different worlds that are incompatible.”

___

Follow Gatopoulos at http://www.twitter.com/dgatopoulos

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation