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Politics

Tsipras in Kathimerini Opinion Piece: “The World Is Changing. Are We?”

ATHENS — Humanity is at a breaking point and cannot continue functioning on dogmas and recipes that have failed, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said in an opinion published in Kathimerini newspaper's Sunday edition.

"It is the first time in four decades, the supremacy of the neoliberal dogma that was based on right-wing ideas is cast in doubt so explicitly," Tsipras said. He explained that the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and movements for the protection of rights are again bringing to the forefront values and needs that were forgotten or overlooked: the need to protect human life with strong health and social welfare systems, the need to stop destroying the planet, and the need to restore social cohesion. The latter "was heavily damaged by the frenzied accentuation of inequalities between the developed and developing worlds, as well as within the western world," he noted.

Citing as examples the policies of US President Joe Biden in raising minimum wage, taxing wealth with new tools, and having the state intervene in the market, Tsipras said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's policy problem is not being part of the right. His problem, Tsipras pointed out, "is strongly defending the principles of a world that appears to have completed his historical cycle." The premier, he said, is unable to "understand the massive changes occurring and those the pandemic is creating on all levels."

Instead of reintroducing old labor ideas from the Reagan and Thatcher eras like abolishing collective labor agreements and eight-hour days, Greece should take advantage of Recovery Fund resources to set up "a new productive model featuring a charge in direction to quality products and high-value-added services. "Greece cannot and must not compete with other countries on the basis of lower labor cost – therefore, salaries – but on the basis of increasing productivity, and integrating collective knowledge, research and innovation," the party leader noted.

Development can only be fuelled by a strong society, not by the market, Tsipras said, therefore reforms should aim for a universally social state, something only a progressive government can do. Such a government would stand by the majority, who are the people who work hard and create. "They are the ones who built Greece, not the few fmailies that sent their profits abroad during the crisis, share it out and expect to be again the main beneficiaries of the Recovery Fund allocations," Tsipras underlined.

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