ND, SYRIZA clash over Cyprus crisis

A controversial eurozone plan to impose a one-time tax on Cypriot bank deposits as part of a bailout for the debt-ridden country fueled yet another clash on Tuesday between conservative New Democracy, which leads Greece’s fragile tripartite coalition, and main leftist opposition SYRIZA.

Shortly before Cypriot deputies voted down a proposal for the bank tax, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras condemned ND for “endorsing a decision for the colonization of Cyprus and the destruction of its economy.” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras had supported “provocative and unacceptable policies,” Tsipras charged.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou responded by accusing Tsipras of trying to cast himself in the role of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. “Clearly, as Mr Tsipras is unable to convince even his own people in Greece, he is fantasizing that he is the president of Cyprus,” Kedikoglou said. The government spokesman again accused Tsipras of “political opportunism,” noting that the leftist leader who had “accepted the maximalist outlook of Skopje, and who had been ready to give away Greek islets to Turkey” was now “offering lessons of love for the homeland.”

Tsipras also grasped the opportunity to lash out at eurozone leaders, and particularly economic powerhouse Germany, noting that they were “following a road that is clearly against the interests of the people.”