Letter from Athens: Shootout in SYRIZA’s Sinking Lifeless Boat, Tsipras Hangs On

October 18, 2020

Politics being a thieves game, those who stay in long are bound to be robbed as Mr. Shakespeare said, and there's a deep sweetness to watching thieves fall out, especially when we are afforded to watching the former ruling Looney Left SYRIZA coming apart at the seams. 

It used to be the Radical Left but now the name change to SYRIZA – Progressive Alliance has seen the party become the Regressive Alliance, falling back on the same, trite, tired, hackneyed slogans that make your eyes glaze over: you know the drill – the ruling class and the running yellow dog capitalist imperialists, yadda yadda yadda. 

Party leader Alexis ‘Fidel’ Tsipras had 4 ½ years in power to bring his promised Leftist revolution sweeping Europe but he couldn't even convince half the members of the party what direction to take. 

After he broke anti-austerity promises, they began to abandon him to set up fringe parties that vanished faster than free hors d'oeuvres at a political fundraiser but the splintering had begun. 

Tsipras, of course, is not a real Leftist, but an opportunist who latches onto the phrase book to try to persuade the working class he's on their side, when he's not riding in some rich guy's yacht and planning to crush, ah, reward the oligarchy. 

Having his head handed to him in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy and Prime Minister Kyriakos ‘True Blue’ Mitsotakis, the armchair radicalist has been left to try sniping and snipping and sniping at the man who beat him, to no avail. 

His sloganeering became too much even for one of his loyalists, former justice minister Stavros Kontonis, who was, depending who you believe, either ousted from the party or quit after he criticized a leniency law passed in the party's last days in office. 

That was designed to benefits anarchists and terrorists who are the darlings of SYRIZA's hard core but went so soft on violent criminals that it was used to let out of jail, and not jail, some of the most repugnant offenders in the country. 

Kontonis said his decision to resign was prompted by “in-fighting,” which, he said, “does not correspond to the needs of workers, the people and society.” 

That was a shot right at Tsipras who rules his party with an ice cream fist, unable to hold down dissension that saw one of his most trusted aides and former finance chief Euclid ‘Schoolboy’ Tsakalotos take shots at him, hard to do when you're weighed down with a Communist Red backpack. 

Writing for the Tvxs.gr website, Tsakalotos also distanced himself from the SYRIZA leader’s labeling of government policies as being tantamount to “political deception.” 

“Not all of our opponents are crooks, nor could they possibly be,” said Tsakalotos, a prominent figure of the Group of 53 faction within the party that pretended to be radical but rolled over like dogs when Tsipras wanted them to. 

Tsipras is said to have strongly reacted to the publication, which appears to fit a pattern of growing inner-party dissent. “If you would like a joint presidency or joint administration, you should let me know,” he reportedly shot back, said Kathimerini, and he was backed by his lemmings and boot lickers. 

Citing sources not named, the paper said that Tsakalotos said that there is no issue of challenging Tsipras’ authority. However, he said that “trust has been broken,” while defending the need for honest expression. 

Tsipras was still irked so he planned to set up a disciplinary body to stifle dissent just like dictators do but it didn't keep Kontonis from barking later. 

After Kontonis, who said he's been a leftist for four decades, was bashed by party loyalists, Tsipras said he tossed him, a move the former justice chief said amounted to “slander and Stalinism,” at which Tsipras is an expert. 

While denouncing the SYRIZA leniency law, Mitsotakis didn't reverse it or bring tougher terms, and Kontonis said he was upset it could have been used by the defense for the leaders of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and its members convicted of running or being in a criminal gang before it turned out it wasn't. 

But there's a pattern here of unrest and with SYRIZA so far behind New Democracy in polls they have about as much chance as returning to power as U.S. President Psycho does, which means at some point even the lap dogs are going to bark too. 

SYRIZA turned on Kontonis, as Tsipras did on former supporters such as famed composer Mikis Theodorakis, who soured on him for breaking anti-austerity promises while in power. 

The statement said that Kontonis – whom SYRIZA criticized for indirectly backing New Democracy – had “forfeited the right to be a member of the party," after he decided "to turn against his own party". 

It accused him of choosing "to demean a huge popular victory against the criminal action of the neo-Nazis," referring to the conviction of Golden Dawn as Tsipras stood outside the courthouse demanding justice, not mentioning the leniency law. 

Kontonis urged SYRIZA members “not to give in to a series of machinations in the run-up to the (party’s) congress” and New Democracy said Kontonis' comments “expose Mr. Tsipras’ blatant cynicism and profound hypocrisy.” 

It's too bad theaters can't operate now because of COVID-19 because you could sell a lot of tickets to watch that Congress. 


I have dealt with Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology several times, highlighting some of their serious and deep-rooted problems, not limiting myself to observations but also proposing ideas and possible solutions for reflection and dialogue.

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