Observing the behavior and comments of main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras over the last few weeks as the country heads to the European Parliament elections in May is proving most interesting. And this is without making any comparisons with the behavior displayed by conservative New Democracy, which has also entered into a pre-election way of doing things, not really in terms of the European elections, but perhaps more in terms of the national ones – to the point that recurring assurances by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that a snap general election is not in the works are being received with skepticism.
Be that as it may, the SYRIZA chief is clearly trying to ensure a broad victory, in the European and local elections in order to subsequently demand a general election.
So far, opinion polls do not point to such a broad victory, and if this also turns out to be the case at the ballot boxes the challenges to his leadership within the opposition party will increase and his appeal among voters could also be affected.
In order to achieve his goal, Tsipras is trying to spice up his rhetoric, with frequent references to opponents. Despite views to the contrary, he never ventures beyond the kind of university amphitheater leftist discourse that brought him into the political limelight, due to the crisis, in the first place. At the same time, however, he tries to sway voters with plenty of promises and statements that he has plans for the economy. Finally, he has elevated himself to Europe’s hope, a man fighting to bring it back to its feet and liberate it from Angela Merkel and Germany, which the leadership of the Greek coalition government, in his opinion, is serving. That is why he has added anti-German sentiment to the unending anti-memorandum talk.
No one knows where this kind of tactic will lead. One thing that is certain is that he makes sure he cancels out any tiny steps toward adopting a political strategy with any connection to reality. His constant assertion that SYRIZA will abolish the memorandum as soon as it rises to power is without any importance, because the memorandum will soon conclude anyway. Meanwhile, his plans for the economy raise questions, such as when he promises to strengthen market liquidity through any available means, but in case this can’t be done by the book, by unconventional means.
In the meantime, direct or indirect claims that he embodies the powers that will overturn German hegemony in Europe do not merit comment. He will realize this himself when he is called to stand against the other candidates for the top job at the European Commission. Even more so if he ever becomes prime minister.