ATHENS – A former deputy prime minister for Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA has joined the ranks of defectors leaving the party’s central committee in disaffection with new leader Stefanos Kasselakis.
Yannis Dragasakis was one of the highest-ranking officials serving then-premier Alexis Tsipras, who quit in June after being routed for a second time by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy.
In a letter to Secretary Rania Svigou, Dragasakis cited “complete disagreement with the direction of SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance under its new leadership, which prevents me from maintaining my membership in the central committee.”
Dragasakis, now 76, stated that “as long as the current situation persists, I do not wish to participate in any institutional body, party function, or public representation of SYRIZA-PA.”
But unlike a gang of others who quit the party, including 11 Members of Parliament who formed their own group called New Left, Dragasakis said that he remains committed to SYRIZA pledging to “continue advocating for the values, ideas, and ethos of the Left within and beyond SYRIZA-PA.”
That’s despite Kasselakis’ critics complaining he has taken the party away from the left and that his ideology is more akin to the Conservatives because of his background in banking and shipping.