NEWS

Tsipras and Meimarakis set off on campaign trail

tsipras-and-meimarakis-set-off-on-campaign-trail

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is due to begin on Crete on Tuesday the nationwide tour that he and his aides hope will trigger a revival in the party’s fortunes after a range of opinion polls over the weekend indicated that the leftists have only a slim lead over New Democracy.

Tsipras is due to speak in Hania and Rethymno before moving on to central Greece and then Thessaloniki later in the week. The former prime minister is due to speak at the Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday, when he is expected to unveil SYRIZA’s manifesto.

At a party conference over the weekend, Tsipras attempted to rally SYRIZA, which has been beset by internal disputes. He called on party members to ensure that power does not fall into the hands of the “old establishment.”

However, former interior minister Nikos Voutsis yesterday did not rule out the possibility of SYRIZA working with New Democracy and PASOK after the September 20 elections. “Based on what we know now, we do not believe this will be an option,” he told Vima FM.

“Once we know the election result, though, we will examine it and decide what we have to do because there is no way we are going to go to further elections.”

Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis encouraged the idea of SYRIZA and New Democracy working together after the elections. “The next government has to reflect the opinions of at least 50 percent of the Greek people because if 60 percent of voters are against it and start casting stones then we will not achieve anything,” he told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis is due to deliver a speech on Tuesday to mark the party’s return to its former headquarters in downtown Athens, at Rigillis Street. He is scheduled to speak in Thessaloniki a week after Tsipras.

Talking with farmers in western Greece on Monday, Meimarakis urged them to ponder whether they had made a wise choice by switching their allegiances to other parties in the January elections.

“Within six months, we were burdened with another 90 billion euros in debt,” he said. “We do not have this luxury. We cannot go to vote for a party just for the hell of it.”