The world of the elite and the world of those that suffer is the juxtaposition with which Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras began a campaign speech at Egaleo on Tuesday evening in Athens, on SYRIZA’s Progressive Alliance group of Eurodeputies.
These two worlds are clashing, said the premier, “the elite world represents Greece of deep recession and bankruptcy, where the many suffer so the few can have a good life.” He went on to say that “we lived through that particular Greece, when schools and hospitals were shutting down while they were giving handouts to multinational pharmaceutical companies and axing wages by thirty percent.”
Among other criticism of previous governments, Tsipras said that pensions were slashed and the national health system destroyed “so they could send customers to private insurance companies,” while protecting “the tax-evading rich, industrialists, media moguls, oligarchs of this land.”
Tsipras’ speech focused on criticism of main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying he is out of touch with people in working-class neighbourhoods, and claiming that the New Democracy (ND) leader “doesn’t know you and does not care to find out about you, what your life is like, what your concerns and dreams are.”
Mitsotakis, he said, has a set idea about Greek society and “is opposed to the idea of social mobility, which was the foundation for collective progress in Greek society” following WWII. The country that stood on its own again “was not created by its aristocracy or its elite,” Tsipras said, “it was reconstructed by the children of Larissa farmers who became doctors, by children of Epiros cattle breeders who became civil engineers and by the children of Piraeus port workers who became scientists.”
“Our world is the world of the many, where injustices are restored and traumas of the crisis healed,” Tsipras said.
Among other issues, the premier also expressed support for Attica Regional Director Rena Dourou who is running again, and who he said was maligned by the media despite her achievements. He also mentioned the high rate of EU fund absorption for large-scale projects, 62 of which were for the area of West Athens, especially compared to those of previous governments.