ATHENS – As the May 21 elections approach, major opposition leader of SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance and former premier, Alexis Tsipras, who hopes to unseat New Democracy in a rematch, said he would implement truthful policies if elected.
During an interview with Star TV Central Greece CEO Giorgos Simopoulos at the Starforum conference in Lamia, he stated that his government would be “multi-colored” to reflect a social majority. This continued his attack on the Conservatives as elitist and out of touch, with Tsipras emphasizing that a government led by him would not only comprise different political parties but also various tendencies and influences embedded in society.
Although the train accident that claimed 57 lives is no longer in the headlines, Greece’s political parties have shifted their focus to the upcoming elections. Due to a change in electoral law implemented under the former SYRIZA-led government, which was defeated in the July 2019 snap elections, this promises to be a wild and free-for-all contest.
The amendment passed by New Democracy removed the 50-seat bonus in the 300-member Parliament for the first-place finisher. With as many as seven parties expected to pass a 3% threshold to gain seats, a second round is almost certain. This will provide a sliding scale of 20-50 seats for the winner based on a percentage of the vote, which has further complicated the process, leaving many bewildered.
While Tsipras had previously focused on criticizing Mitsotakis for a surveillance scandal, failure to implement safety measures on trains, and a high cost of living, he is now pushing for “Justice for all.” He stated that he would prioritize “wages, labor rights, education, public health, the state, taxation, banking,” without explaining why he did not address these issues during his 4 ½ years in power before.
Tsipras remarked that the train accident seems to have rendered the average person immune to toxic political monologues, and people now want to hear the truth, which he claims Mitsotakis has obfuscated.
When asked about what would happen if there is no outright winner in the first ballot, he emphasized the need for a progressive government composed of collaborating parties instead of standalone arrogant governments. Tsipras added that last year’s inflationary crisis and the ensuing energy price hikes “were indeed imported phenomena,” but the profiteering that followed was “made in Greece,” citing the privatization of the country’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) as an example.