Posts tagged ‘Tsipras’

Tsipras probe into submarines deal “shakes” the unity of the two–party Greek government


Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA President, announced his intention to ask for a probe into a submarine deal signed in 2010 and which he claims has “an aroma of scandal”. Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, present Chairman of PASOK and vice-chairman of the present Greek government was the minister of defence when the disputed deal was signed.

The bad feeling between Venizelos and Minister of Defence Avramopoulos resulted from the latter’s reply to Tsipras that this government has nothing to fear and that whatever “underhanded business” is of an earlier date.

Venizelos took this as a personal affront from Avramopoulos and replied, during the Parliament discussion that ensued, that it is not  a Minister’s job  to” describe situations. Neither are they there to play the good guy to the opposition but to bear responsibility and bring results”.


The Prime Minister’s office took no sides and in spite of Avramopoulos’ clarification that he was referring to the Tsohatzopoulos’case,  Venizelos continues to feed the feud. The PASOK press office released to day a letter sent to Avramopoulos the day before the Parliamentary discussion giving him “directions” on how to deal with Tsipras accusations.

Merkel visits an Athens under siege

The Police department’s announcement regarding the traffic arrangements to facilitate Ms. Merkel’s visit in Athens reeked of authoritarianism and fuelled the people’s resentment. In a country which has undergone a seven year military dictatorship one should not use phrases like “Gatherings are prohibited (!)”. 7000 policemen are mobilised to “guard” peace in Athens alone! The security measures are compared to those taken during President Clinton’s visit.
Ms. Merkel will have consecutive meetings with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. The leaders of PASOK and DIMAR will be briefed by Mr. Samaras at a later date. The burning question is why has Ms. Merkel decided to visit Athens and why now.
The most common answer is that the German Chancellor wants to support the Greek government in this difficult phase and mark her trust in the reforms. At first there were high expectations from the Greek government side but they have been lowered due mainly to statements made by high ranking German officials. Now the greatest expectation is that Ms. Merkel’s expression of sympathy will have a positive effect on the markets.
In the meantime, buses are out of operation from 11 to 15.00, the Syntagma, Panepistimio, Evangelismos, Megaro Mousikis and Katehaki metro stations will remain closed the entire day and demonstrators are busy looking for a way to reach Syntagma avoiding the police.
The Independent Greeks’party have moved their demontration from outside the German Embassy to the area around Syntagma.
SYRIZA’s statement stresses that “the massive and peaceful participation in the demonstrations is the dynamic reply of the Greek people to the common plans of the Greek government and the German Chancellor, it will be a loud NO to the new measures rejected by the majority of Greek society”.
Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA leader, will be at the demonstration accompanied by Mr. Bernd Riexinger, chairman of the Die Linke (The Left) German party.

Threat du jour (like plat du jour…)

I borrow the very apt title of an article by Stelios Kouloglou on his info site Tvxs (in Greek it means television without frontiers) to try and give you the atmosphere on Greek mass media and television in particular.

The effort to disorientate the Greek citizens on the eve of elections is reaching hysteria proportions. Everyday there is a new catastrophe that will befall the country if the responsible proponents of adherence to the rules of the loan agreement are not elected: instead of learning what the parties propose their representatives explain most graphically what will happen if SYRIZA is elected. The “return to the drachma” is the most popular scenario with the immigration issue a close second.

While all parties agree that a “renegotiation”of the loan agreement terms is imperative they cannot agree on the method of this “renegotiation”.

In the meantime, Golden Dawn is left alone to “enforce the law” against immigrants (irrespective of whether they are legal or not)in neighbourhoods with real problems thus earning the reputation of the protector of the weak!! Greek society does not seem to realise that this political formation is a neo-nazi organisation and they are viewed as a mixture of psychotic, problematic youth and nationalist bravado.


A left wing view of the Greek crisis

Synaspismos – Coalition of the left of movements and Ecology organized a meeting in Athens between members of the leadership of the European Left Party and representatives of Workers’associations in the public and private sectors. The meeting took place in the Greek Parliament and gave the opportunity to the European Left Party delegates to listen first hand to the problems facing the Greek working people.
In his opening speech Alexis Tsipras, President of Synaspismos and of the Parliamentary Group of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), noted that at this stage what is particularly targeted is the utilities companies which still belong to the state. The demand is that they be privatized the sooner possible. Tsipras stressed that the biggest scandals occurred during similar privatizations. He also repeated some of his party’s proposals for a way out of the crisis:
• Immediate aggressive restructuring of the debt and not for Greece only. A partial eradication should be applied
• Fundamental reform of the EU and its budget
• Developmental policies for the benefit of the working people
• Redistribution of wealth
• The social state should be enlarged

A number of unionists addressed the audience and there was a distinct distrust between the state companies’representatives and representatives of smaller workers’ unions. They all stressed that the Greek government is actually selling off every bit of profitable public enterprise to private companies thus endangering and enslaving the future of the country. The representative of the water and sewerage company of Thessaloniki caused quite a stir when he proposed that the people of Thessaloniki could buy this company themselves if they contributed 46 Euros per head!! One can imagine what a bargain this company is for the French corporations who are trying to buy it off.

“The meeting of the “enraged” with the workers’movement will bring new developments”, stressed Mr. Harissis who represented the municipality workers Union. Mr.Harissis was one of the most badly beaten protesters during the two day strike of 28-29 June and he spoke with his head still in bandages.

Among the speakers were also Mr. Papaspyrou, President of ADEDY-Confederation of workers in the public sector, Mr. Fotopoulos, Chairman of the Electricity public company, Mr. Orfanos, President of the Federation of the people working in the Greek Petrol industry (comprises refineries, but also natural gas etc), Mr. Karmalakis represented the leadership of the Federation of Medical visitors, Mr. Konstantakopoulos spoke on behalf of the University Professors association while the teachers’association and the “Aspro Fos” company also addressed the audience.

A common theme in all speeches was the need for the European Working peoples movement to coordinate its actions and change the European Union policies to the benefit of its peoples and not to the benefit of the bankers and other financial systems. This sentiment was echoed in the brief greeting addressed to the audience by Mr. L.Fabien, President of the European Left party and Maite Mola, one of the vice Presidents.

The European Left will hold an Assembly in Trevi, Italy to formulate its all European proposals and coordinate its actions.