ATHENS – One cannot expect anything good from this government, which renegs on promises and which lies, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday evening in his keynote address to a party preparatory event for its congress.
Criticizing the current government on a wide array of topics, from its handling of the Novartis pharmaceuticals kickback case to its foreign policy and migration handling, the main opposition leader said of ruling New Democracy (ND), “They managed a temporary win against the Left, against truth and progress, but they are losing dozens of battles in daily life. They are only able to favor great interests and are turning us back to a state of corruption and vested interests.”
Greece “is already paying a heavy price for the policies of [Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis’ government,” he said, particularly in terms of relations with Turkey. Referring to the agreement his government brokered with North Macedonia, Tsipras commented about Tukey that “our Eastern neighbors never forgave us for signing the Prespes Agreement, which annulled their decades-long plans for the region.”
Tsipras called for the immediate decongestion of the Aegean islands and the transfer of vulnerable migrant groups to the mainland, along with increasing the pressure to be levelled at the EU for a revision of its migration policy. In addition, relating to environmental issues, he criticized the Mitsotakis government for “backward-going” and for “declaring the abolition of lignite use, but without a plan for the repercussions it will bring to local communities. Their only plan is to serve interests.”
“SYRIZA and Progressive Alliance want to return to power; but in order to improve people’s lives, to change the country and society, which cannot happen without radical change,” Tsipras said, “we must be ready to change, ourselves,” and he called on his audience to “support the prospect of continuous change that will make us more radical and useful to society.”
“We must become an open, young, popular and radical party. (…) We want an agency open to everything new, open to all progressives, leftists, to all restless citizens,” he said, called on his audience to “lead in this effort to make change a reality.”