SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras gives a speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair, in the northern port city, on Sunday, September 20. [ANA-MPA]
Irked by the reluctance of his former finance minister to embrace the opposition SYRIZA party’s latest narrative against the conservative New Democracy administration, Alexis Tsipras plans to set up a new disciplinary body aiming at stifling dissent inside his increasingly unruly leftist party.
Writing for the Tvxs.gr website, Euclid Tsakalotos distanced himself from the SYRIZA leader’s recent labeling of government policies as being tantamount to “political deception.” “Not all of our opponents are crooks, nor could they possibly be,” said Tsakalotos, a prominent figure of the radical “Group of 53” faction within the party.
Tsipras is said to have strongly reacted to the publication, which appears to fit a pattern of growing inner-party dissent. “If you would like a joint presidency or joint administration, you should let me know,” he is said to have told critics. Several SYRIZA heavyweights are said to have backed Tsipras during the row.
According to sources, Tsakalotos said that there is no issue of challenging Tsipras’ authority. However, he said that “trust has been broken,” while defending the need for honest expression.
The SYRIZA chief also criticized former health minister Pavlos Polakis for his outspoken comments on Facebook and Theodora Tzakri for breaking with the party line in her recent criticism of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ foreign policy agenda.
Monday’s Political Council is set to propose the creation of a four-member disciplinary body (made up of Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Olga Gerovasili, Thanasis Theocharopoulos and Nasos Iliopoulos) tasked with reining in the cacophony.
“We ought to decide on specific rules and procedures that will be abided by all,” he said. “Anyone who violates these will face sanctions,” he said.