ATHENS – After being criticized by his own former finance chief, Greece's major opposition SYRIZA Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said he will crush any dissent in the party and hold down any potential rebellion.
Writing for the Tvxs.gr website, Euclid Tsakalotos, who had loyally obeyed Tsipras even when the former premier broke his word not to impose more austerity measures during a 4 ½ year reign, said the leftist leader had gone too far in how he characterized the ruling New Democracy.
Calling Tsipras' increasingly provocative rhetoric “political deception,” Tsakalotos – a Marxist economist forced into embarrassing surrenders to the country's capitalist bailout lenders – wrote that, “Not all of our opponents are crooks, nor could they possibly be.”
Tsakalotos is one of the leaders of SYRIZA's Group of 53 faction that was allegedly against austerity and other compromises but repeatedly bowed to them to mollify Tsipras and prevent being booted from the party.
Unhappy with Tsakalotos' pulling away, Tspiras plans to set up a new disciplinary body aiming at stifling dissent in the party that has fallen some 16.5 percent behind in surveys, said Kathimerini.
That came as there are signs of rumbling and grumbling over his leadership that is seeing SYRIZA falling farther behind even as Tsipras keeps sniping at New Democracy for everything from its handling of the COVID-19 crisis to the economy, even though pandemic is responsible.
“If you would like a joint presidency or joint administration, you should let me know,” he is said to have told critics and some of his zealots fell in line immediately and backed him to the hilt despite the party taking a brutal beating in July 7, 2019 snap polls and losing power.
Sources not named told the paper that Tsakalotos said that there is no issue of challenging Tsipras’ authority but said that “trust has been broken,” while defending the need for honest expression, the report added.
SYRIZA's Political Council is set to propose the creation of a four-member disciplinary body to deal with anyone who tries to break the failing party line.
“We ought to decide on specific rules and procedures that will be abided by all,” he said. “Anyone who violates these will face sanctions,” he said as in Greek politics, unlike the United States, party members have to vote the way they are told even if they don't like it or can be ejected for doing so.