SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras called for “national unity around a coherent national strategy that is actually implemented by the government” in an opinion article published by Avghi newspaper on New Year’s Day.
This strategy, he noted, must be “promoted by all political forces, and particularly proclaimed by the highest leadership in the country, (a strategy) more necessary today than ever.”
The former prime minister referred to the decade that concluded as the toughest one after the restoration of democracy in 1974 and one in which the Greek people decided to give an opportunity to SYRIZA, a youthful political power of the left. This allowed Greece “to face its future today with expectations and optimism,” as the coming decade there will be no memoranda, the public debt is on a road to sustainability and unemployment rates have dropped, while rates of development are significant.
He criticized the ruling New Democracy party for its stance with the opposition and for “turning to an extreme populism on national issues and the refugee issue, in order to attract nationalistic and extreme conservative powers.” However, he said, SYRIZA would not fall in the same trap and would support the international condemnation of the Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding on maritime zones, and the EU-Turkey statement on migrant returns.
Tsipras also criticized the government over what he called “its haphazard stance on a series of critical issues,” including the convening of the government council for the armed forces over the Turkey-Libya agreement and the council of national security. In addition, the government, he charged, is not trying to expand the EU’s sanctions against Turkey, “while it essentially suspended talks for confidence-building measures that SYRIZA’s government had begun.” He added that the unequivocal support of the United States and President Donald Trump in particular for EastMed is not clear.
“SYRIZA will fight so that we do not return to the policies of the past,” Tsipras said, warning that the government should expect “the strictest criticism” on several issues, among others vested interests, the inequality gap, and police suppression, including handling the migration issue. “We shall insist on the just transition to clean forms of energy and meeting the target of climate neutrality,” he added.