Tsipras slams neoliberal ‘zealots,’ calls for anti-austerity front across Europe

Neoliberal policies have wrecked the lives of ordinary people in Europe, leftist SYRIZA opposition leader has argued while emphasizing the need to rebuild the Continent on a “democratic and progressive basis.”

In an op ed published in the Guardian’s online “Comment is free” section on Thursday, Tsipras repeats that he will run for president of the European Commission on behalf of the European Left party next year.

“Zealots for neoliberalism have turned ordinary people’s lives upside down. Their structural adjustment policies serve a model of economic governance that transfers risk on to the shoulders of ordinary workers and the young,” Tsipras writes, while slamming the “hopeless” response from Brussels and national governments.

“Those European leaders who claim that the current medicine is a ‘success’ are hypocrites. For millions of people, the European dream has turned into a nightmare,” Tsipras writes, quoting Eurobarometer surveys that reveal voters’ declining confidence in EU institutions and the rise of far right parties.

“Europe needs an anti-austerity and anti-recession front, a solidarity movement for its working people, north and south,” he writes. “We must rebuild solidarity among the young, the workers, the pensioners and the unemployed to break down the new dividing line between Europe’s rich and poor.”

In the same editorial, Tsipras notes that his decision to stand for president of the Commission was driven by a “desire to reunite Europe and rebuild it on a democratic and progressive basis.”

“There is an alternative to the present crisis and it is our duty and destiny to fight for it,” he says.

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