Alexis Tsipras: Constructive and strong opposition

“SYRIZA’s target is a constructive and in parallel strong opposition” SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said at a press conference at Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Sunday.

He said that SYRIZA has a long experience in Greece’s political life as well as a governmental experience and will not resort to scaremongering.

“We disagree with New Democracy’s growth model and we believe it can’t lead us to growth” Tsipras said adding “Yes to growth but with specific orientation, with transparency and rules that will protect our cultural heritage”.

Asked if he is going to ask for snap elections as the current prime minister did when he was in the opposition, SYRIZA leader said “My name is Tsipras not Mitsotakis” and reassured that no government declares early elections because the opposition asks it.

Tsipras said he is proud for the Prespes Agreement which, as he said, will go down in history adding that he did not step back in fear of the obvious political cost.

He noted that a Gordian knot in the foreign policy was resolved with the agreement and the foundations for peace and good neighbourly relations were laid and we gained Macedonia’s Hellenity.

Tsipras said that “the sector of medicine is of the greatest scandals in Greece along with the armaments and the state supplies that are also responsible for the crisis” answering to a question on Novartis case adding that Novartis is a twofold scandal as there is also the attempt to cover it.

Referring to SYRIZA’s tax policy he said that the elections result shows that our measures were not consolidated. He said that his feeling is that Mitsotakis created huge expectations on the issue (tax relief) that will be, very soon, proved wrong.

“We will all be judged” he said adding that the high expectations will turn into a boomerang because the citizens’ reality can’t be formed on communication conditions as they will see hikes on the PPC rates and other increases in other indirect ways.

“It is better to promise what you can do than create huge expectations” he noted and underlined “We promised to seek this other way until the end and this was not a lie. It was a promise we kept until the end”.

Referring to his party, Tsipras said that SYRIZA has open procedures without any kind of omerta, something that exists in other parties adding that all the issues are open and will be discussed openly.

On PPC issue Tsipras said that the discredit a company in order to sell it is part of the neoliberal manual and accused Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis of trying to gain the social consensus adding that he did the same with Olympic airways and the only thing he achieved was “to go from the public monopoly to the private monopoly”.

He said that SYRIZA had a plan to address PPC’s problems which would not burden the consumers and a plan for new investments and for the streamlining of its expenses. He charged the government of methodically preparing, through discredit, the sale of the company’s assets to private interests and called unfair the increase on PPC’s rates saying that will burden the middle class.

On the relations with the Church, Tsipras said that SYRIZA made an agreement that was a step forward for the country and paved the way for a more distinct role, it financially supported the Church without allowing the involvement to the state’s issue and vice versa.

On the government’s course so far, Tsipras said that there are some positive points “for example it has announced that it will honour the Prespes Agreement and that will, more or less, follow the same foreign policy and of course the fact that Mr. Mitsotakis did not dare to say that he received a chaos”.

“When I say we will be a constructive opposition I mean that we will not distort the facts and say that the economy is not doing well when it does but SYRIZA will exercise strong opposition when there is violation of the acquis and of the equality” Tsipras explained.

Finally, asked if he will see Costa Gavras movie on Greece, the former prime minister said “Of course I will see it” adding that “I have the feeling that it will be a good film as most of his films”.

Tsipras said that the film as the book of former Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis on which the film is based on “will refer to the historic facts on a self-centred basis”.

Mr. Varoufakis’ book is 1/3 real facts, 1/3 distorted facts and 1/3 fiction. “The film will be judged by its central message” which, as Tsipras said and Gavras explained to him, refers to a small country’s struggle for its rights against the powerful international establishment.