Tsipras slams draft bill on slot machines; said gov't was 'finished' along with the Memorandum

"The Memorandum is finished and finished with it are those that imposed it upon the Greek people," Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday.

No matter how hard the government tries to dress up the situation and convince its MPs it can no longer convince Greek society, he added.

Tsipras said the new measures were nothing more than an admission that the government's policy had failed and he stressed that the country had to change course.

He said that a "new coalition power that will extricate the country from the disastrous memorandum, proceed with a redistribution of wealth and an aggressive renegotiation of the debt in which a large part of it will be written off, can provide a solution and prospects of hope in this country".

Tsipras made the statements after meeting with a Committee of the Citizens Movement for restricting games of chance, who object to government plans to lift current restrictions on slot machines.

He noted that the government, during conditions of unprecedented crisis and in spite of strong reactions, was preparing to pass a bill that would essentially turn the country into a giant casino on the pretext of bringing in additional tax revenue, overlooking the social problems this would cause.

In reality, the only revenues that would increase would be those of the big businesses that wanted to make money out of unrestricted gambling, Tsipras asserted.

He warned that the move would have serious repercussions on Greek society, with families exposed to the dangers of gambling addiction and cast into debt at a time when jobs were being lost and gambling as a form of release would be a major temptation.

Tsipras urged the government to withdraw the proposed bill for slot machines and abolish illegal gambling.

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