Main opposition Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA) Leader Alexis Tsipras yesterday held an event to rally together opposition parties, independent MPs, labor unions and environmental groups for a united front against the revised version of the government’s coastal bill. The event was attended by deputies from the Democratic Left faction (DIMAR), right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) and centrist To Potami (The River). During his address, Mr. Tsipras invited cooperation amongst those who are opposed to the proposed legislation.
“If something sums up the politics of piracy at the country’s expense and in favor of the most opportunistic international capital, then this bill is it,” said Tsipras. He referred to problems that this bill could cause if passed including:
* the ability for someone to exploit as much land expanse as required, without limits
* the abolition of the public’s free and easy access to the shoreline
* where enough land isn’t available, there will be the possibility of extending constructions over the sea
* mandatory restrictions as to the unused part of the beach will no longer apply nor will a minimum size be set
DIMAR deputy Nicky Founda asked for the legislation to be prevented from reaching Parliament. She underlined the need for a wider public discussion on what is considered a “public good”. On his part, To Potami deputy Pavlos Eleftheriadis said that there needs to be leeway for “small and large alliances” in order for change. Also present at the event was ANEL deputy Nikos Nikolopoulos and a number of independent deputies. The head of the POE-OTA local authority union, Themis Balasopoulos, as well as representatives of environmental groups also accepted SYRIZA’s invitation.
Coalition government’s reaction
Government Spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi reacted to the SYRIZA party’s event by saying that Mr. Tsipras is condemning the government for a bill that has not even been tabled in Parliament yet. She criticized Mr. Tsipras for seeking to rally opportunities for opposition where there are none in an attempt to create alliances in view of the presidential election next Spring.