PM Tsipras at Central Committee: We lost a battle, but the war lies ahead

SYRIZA lost a battle but the war still lies ahead, Prime Minister and party leader Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, addressing the Central Committee meeting following the sweeping losses experienced in Sunday’s Europarliament, regional and local elections.

Thanking the voters who supported him, Tsipras said he had received the message of the Europarliament elections, where his party received 23.79 pct of the vote behind main opposition New Democracy’s 33.19 pct (with 88.59 pct of votes counted). “We lost the battle, but the war still lies ahead,” he said, “and we have neither the luxury nor the right to back down.”

On Sunday night, Tsipras announced he planned to meet with the president of the republic to call for elections once the second round of regional voting was completed on June 2.

“I know the struggle we are facing will be difficult, but it is one that can be won,” the premier said referring to national elections expected by July, and he called on party cadres to “get up together, re-form and fight.”

Referring to the national elections he plans to call, Tsipras again reiterated what he called the dilemma of having a government of New Democracy “with extreme-right ministers and others” or a progressive government with Syriza at its core and a Progressive Coalition supplementing it. His government, he said, planned to “continue and expand the efforts to protect and support the social majority.”

Criticising other parties for their Europarliament election stance, the premier accused Movement for Change (KINAL) for its “full frontal attack against Syriza” and issued what he called a “democratic invitation to all progressive and democratic citizens” to vote for Syriza.