Alexis Tsipras was the head of a disparate group which ended up as SYRIZA. He preferred playing to working. But after the 2012 elections, he became leader of the main opposition. This panicked the systemic parties because with SYRIZA in power, it put Greece’s eurozone membership at risk.
This is how it was through the first six months of Tsipras’s time as premier, up to summer 2015, when we saw his dramatic turnaround with his acceptance of a new memorandum, with an increased parliamentary majority, a breakup of the party’s leadership, elections and his re-election.
The end of the latest negotiations and Greece’s return to the markets, whatever that implies, should have been touted as a win for the European establishment. This is happening with reservations kept private due to the people’s general distrust.
Tsipras’s forced and aggressive proselytizing and acceptance of what he used to rail against his predecessor for have caused confusion both in the ranks of SYRIZA and the political opposition.
Nevertheless, their continuation in power is a big reason for its lawmakers to close ranks. Furthermore, despite Tsipras’s dramatic transformation in summer 2015 – to compensate for his entrance into the European order – it is certain there was an attempt to reinforce SYRIZA’s left-wing character.
The situation that emerged is somewhat irrational: Greece under the auspices of a very strict program of European discipline, without any scope for divergence, with the left in power trying to play a leading role in all other aspects of Greek political life. In short, this means chaos and incoherence, but this is the landscape Tsipras is used to operating in, as has been proven in the past.
The main opposition is right to highlight the cost of SYRIZA’s normalization in the Greek political sphere. But in essence, it prefers this development compared to the nightmare of the country being kicked out of the eurozone. At the same time the opposition is enthusiastically striving to annihilate the leftism of SYRIZA, whatever form that might take.
In other words, this is a whole Greek circus that our powerful partners observe with scorn.