Second World War hero Manolis Glezos put a spanner in the works at the SYRIZA conference on Thursday as he declared his opposition to Alexis Tsipras’s plans for the party’s factions to be disbanded and for the young politician to take complete control of the leftist group.
Glezos argued that SYRIZA’s notable rise over recent years was a product of its openness and polyphony. He said that forcing members of the various groups that make up the coalition to unite behind one leader and one set of ideas would be a mistake.
“It must be understood that the forces that came together to form SYRIZA and brought it this far are the guarantors of its transition,” the 90-year-old told the audience of more than 3,000 delegates.
Glezos leads his own faction, Energi Polites (Active Citizens), and insisted he would not vote to scrap it. He also proposed that SYRIZA be led by a three-member committee rather than one person. His opposition to Tsipras’s plans is unlikely to deter the SYRIZA leader ahead of Saturday’s vote but will certainly increase tension within the party.
Another MP opposed to Tsipras’s plan, Panayiotis Lafazanis, is due to speak on Friday. He heads another faction, the Aristeri Platforma (Left Platform), which wants SYRIZA to maintain the option of Greece leaving the euro.