SYRIZA meeting chaired by PM focused on name issue, end of Greek programme, sources report

The period leading up to Greece’s exit from the memorandum programme, after the completion of the third review, as well as the FYROM name issue, dominated discussion at SYRIZA’s Political Secretariat meeting on Wednesday, sources in the party reported. The meeting was held ahead of a SYRIZA Central Committee meeting that will convene on January 19-20.

They also quoted Tsipras as saying that “some political forces do not want to see the government succeed” but that the government has built up significant alliances within the EU, something that must be fully exploited in order to achieve a permanent exit from memorandum supervision in August 2018.

The meeting did not discuss issues relating to the omnibus bill passed on Monday at great length, the sources noted, though members welcomed the fact that it “completes a cycle”. The focus was more on the fact that Greece is embarking on a six-month period when the final negotiations for its exit from the programme will take place, while concerns and ideas on the government’s central goals were put forward, such as the success of the programme and more specific measures for relieving Greece’s debt.

On the FYROM name issue, the same sources noted, Tsipras said that the party must play a key role in the essential effort to inform society about the issue and forge a broad social and political consensus for its resolution. He said SYRIZA should launch initiatives and brief people on the true negotiating and diplomatic story, from 1992 until the present day.

The prime minister outlined where things stood with regard to the negotiations on the name issue, while the meeting agreed on the need to defeat nationalist positions and ensure that all sides understood the extent of their responsibility and the need to adopt a clear position “without playing hide-and-seek.” They stressed that it was in the country’s interests for the issue, which had dragged on for 25 years, to finally be resolved.