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Letter from Athens: Tsipras' Pie in the Sky Vows Just Half-Baked Ideas

Εθνικός Κήρυξ

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance party. (Photo by Eurokinissi/MotionTeam/Vasilis Ververidis)

What's particularly loathsome about major opposition Regressive Alliance SYRIZA leader Alexis ‘Two Face’ Tsipras is that he's a phony Communist like his hero Fidel Castro, not like Che Guevara, who actually worked the sugar cane fields before Castro left him to be killed in Bolivia to get rid of another rival.

If you can get past that somber version of an Alfred E. Neumann look, you discover a guy who's a mile wide and an inch deep and shallower than the kiddies end of the pool.

He came to power in 2015 only because Greeks were weary of the two mainstream parties, the New Democracy Capitalists and PASOK Anti-Socialists running the country into the ground with wild spending and runaway patronage.

Greece then had gotten a first of what turned into three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($382 billion) in three rescue packages which failed to slow the unsustainable debt that's growing by the second.

Because he is who he is, a hypocritical serial prevaricator, he quickly reneged on anti-austerity promises and hammered his core constituency – workers, pensioners, and the poor – with big pay cuts, tax hikes, and slashed pensions.

By July 7, 2019 Greeks, including many defectors from SYRIZA who couldn't take his snide style and betraying his party's alleged principles so that he could shake hands with other heads of state in the European Union, dumped him.

He hasn't gotten over it, especially being trounced by now-Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose tenure started off strong but has hit rough waters indeed, and doesn't see the rocky shoals ahead.

Tsipras' response to Mitsotakis' keynote address at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), where Greek leaders promise a lamb in every pot but rarely deliver anything with even vegetables, was predictable and lame.

Mitsotakis wants us to forget the COVID-19 pandemic is still out there and said happier days are coming, giving Tsipras an opening to pounce, but, like Castro, he doesn't know how to go for the kill, politically speaking.

Instead, we were left to hear the same old Tom Tuttle from Washington State forced brainwash knee-jerk response that sounded like Tsipras googled ‘Communist Manifesto talk,’ to pitch to his wild-eyed acolytes who didn't need convincing because they're more gullible than anti-vaxxers.

In place of sound and realistic alternative proposals on how to bring back Greece's economy – tough to do when your party is anti-business and doesn't want foreign investors – Tsipras rolled out the usual blather of nothingness.

Attacking Mitsotakis as an elitist is a lazy assault because it's too easy, but that's all the cheap shot artist Tsipras knows how to do, and don't stand next to him in a bar unless you want to get sucker punched.

“We need a new state that will not be manipulated by the elites, that will be just in its core and will shy away from corruption and plundering the public purse,” he said, which sounds nice until you understand Tsipras likes riding on yachts and used the Greek Treasury to pay unqualified hacks he appointed.

He still dreams of returning to office to fulfill vows he won't keep, as he didn't during the 4 ½ years he had do something but spent the time walking away from his promises and blamed everyone from the United States to the NeoCons for his failures.

He hasn't changed from the same guy who said he would take Greece out of NATO but cozied up to the defense alliance the same way he did to the United States after he said he would end an American military presence in Greece but added to it.

He's rebranded his party from the Radical, ahem, Looney, Left in a bid to reach out to more center-left elements in vain hopes of being elected again in 2023 or if Mitsotakis, who's riding high in polls with a current lead of 11.9 percent, calls snap elections to solidify his hold.

Long since giving up his kooky idea of bringing a leftist revolution across Europe, which doesn't want one, Tsipras now is dreaming again of sitting in the Prime Minister's chair at Maximos Mansion for glory and power, not the common good.

He said a new SYRIZA would abolish what he called the “excessive, scandalous salaries of the ‘golden boys,’” a reference to appointed heads of public enterprises and aides, without mentioning his hires when he ruled were rewarded.

He also said he would create a National Security Council and that public sector hirings will be made by an upgraded Supreme Personnel Selection Council (ASEP), although didn't say whether that would rule out runaway patronage his government continued.

His promises poured out longer than his nose was growing when he was offering them, and since he's offering pie in the sky he should know the phrase was a mocking lyric.

It was written by Joe Hill, a Swedish-American wrongly executed in 1915 for a murder he didn't commit, but because he was a ‘wobbly’, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

His song made fun of the Salvation Army but now it could be Tsipras and SYRIZA: “You will eat, bye and bye, in that glorious land above the sky. Work and pray, live on hay. You'll get pie in the sky when you die.” Not before.