Saturday December 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The reinvention of Tsipras as Greece’s prime minister-in-waiting

By Marcus Bensasson & Eleni Chrepa

Alexis Tsipras is presenting a friendlier face to investors as he tries to cultivate an image as the leader of Greece’s next government.

Tsipras, 39, last week spoke of attracting capital to regenerate the economy, pledged to maintain a stable tax regime for companies and offered to cooperate with Europe’s traditional left-wing parties in his first interview since claiming the biggest share of the vote in European elections.

It’s a far cry from the rhetoric of July 2012 when he announced his arrival on the international stage by telling prospective bidders for the crippled Greek state’s assets that he’d make sure they lost their money. Fast-forward two years and with the economy set to expand for the first time since 2008, Tsipras is appealing to a broader audience.

“There is a gradual move to the center,” Aristides Hatzis, a professor of law and economics at the University of Athens, said in a May 30 telephone interview. “Tsipras and the leadership of Syriza have realized this is the only way to achieve a majority at the polls. After the European elections, this strategy is clearly dominant.”

Tsipras’s Syriza, a disparate collection of groups that only formally became a political party two years ago, won 26.6 percent of the vote in the Greek elections for the European parliament on May 25, topping a national poll for the first time. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party gained 22.7 percent while Pasok, the party that dominated Greek politics for three decades, finished in fourth place with 8 percent under the banner of the Elia alliance.

Attracting investors

While that result, if it were replicated in elections to the 300-seat national parliament, would probably be enough to make Tsipras prime minister, it still wouldn’t give Syriza an overall majority. So he’d need to have potential allies who could join a governing coalition, hence the more moderate tone, Hatzis said.

“We want to attract investors in Greece who will kick start an investment shock to restart the economy,” Tsipras said in a May 28 interview at his office in Athens. “There are two conditions for attracting those investors: to feel safe about the euro area and the prospects of the Greek economy and to see serious public investment.”

Investors have so far been undeterred by the emergence of Syriza. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds dropped 22 basis points last week to 6.21 percent following the EU vote.

Debt forgiveness

Still, the central plank of the party’s economic policy remains an insistence that Greece should be forgiven some of the 240 billion euros ($327 billion) in bailout funds extended by its official creditors -- an option that euro-region finance ministers have ruled out -- and Tsipras says that if the prime minister doesn’t take into account Syriza’s position in negotiations with the EU then he, in turn, may not respect any agreement Greece signs up to should he win power.

“Apparently he is not aware that major agreements are not reached between government partners,” Simos Kedikoglou, Samaras’s minister for communication, said in a statement last week. “They are reached between governments, between states.”

Tsipras, a civil engineer by training, who also has a postgraduate degree in urban and regional planning, said the solution to the disconnect between the government and the voters would be to hold a snap election and let a new administration enter talks with the EU with a fresh mandate. His party is “mainstream” now, he said, and it doesn’t plan to disappear anytime soon.

“It’s mainstream to be against these policies that are destroying societies in Europe today,” Tsipras said. “Syriza is a child of necessity, and of anger, and is a phenomenon that will last in the political life of the country because it has deep roots.” [Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Monday June 2, 2014 (10:25)  
New weapons of diplomacy
Oblivious to change
Europe´s drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
A pointless battle
Tsipras admits there could be hard days ahead
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that he is determined to implement his party’s economic program if it comes to power but admitted that it would experience a challenging period. “...
Public medical centers keeping up despite shortages
Despite having just 1,050 doctors, medical centers belonging to Greece’s public health system (PEDY) saw more than 200,000 regular and emergency patients, made over 3,500 house calls and iss...
Inside News
Workers rush to get early retirement
Nine out of 10 workers who retired in the last four months who had belonged to the former special funds of banks and state corporations that have now been incorporated in the Social Security...
Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
Piraeus Container Terminal, the local subsidiary of Chinese giant Cosco Pacific, is expected to handle a total of over 3 million containers in the January-December period of this year. The J...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
SOCCER
Abidal cuts short playing career at Olympiakos
Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal announced his retirement from football on Friday, a day before his last match. Abidal said he will finish after playing for Olympiakos agains...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
2. Tsipras admits there could be hard days ahead
3. Public medical centers keeping up despite shortages
4. Workers rush to get early retirement
5. Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
6. Moscovici: Creditor inspections to become less frequent and ‘lighter’
more news
Today
This Week
1. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
2. Independent Greeks MP Haikalis claims attempted bribery for presidential vote
3. Independent Greeks leader backs MP's bribery claims, threatens to release video [Update]
4. Greek PM Samaras confronts peril putting his Greek transformation to vote
5. Former premier Mitsotakis to meet President Papoulias to discuss political upheaval
6. Gov't spokeswoman says bribery claims 'badly-played charade,' heralds legal action if evidence not produced
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
6. High stakes
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.