SYRIZA’s Group of 53 takes a stand


A radical faction within leftist SYRIZA known as the Group of 53 presented a set of proposals on Friday, on the second day of the party’s conference, taking issue with certain aspects of the government’s policies.

In the document, which was presented by Katerina Knitou, a member of SYRIZA’s central committee, the Group of 53 repeats it conviction that the signing of a third bailout was a defeat and that there is a risk “that defeat and compromise will turn into a strategic choice.”

The group also criticized certain tactics by the government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Examples include Tsipras’s “privileged meeting with judges” which took place as “riot police were at work outside courts and against pensioners,” a reference to separate clashes between police and protesting retirees and between police and demonstrators expressing their opposition to repossessions outside courthouses last week.

The faction also took issue with some officials’ use of the term “success story,” an expression coined by former conservative premier Antonis Samaras. “We should not seek to appease using the logic of a ‘success story,’ which is disastrous,” the group said.

One of the aims of SYRIZA’s conference, which concludes on Sunday, is to boost party unity. But, as Tsipras made clear in his opening speech on Thursday night, a parallel goal is to broaden cooperation with other parties.

State Minister Nikos Pappas echoed this sentiment in comments to Sto Kokkino radio on Friday. “It is our duty to build a large party of the left, the heart of the democratic front, which will guarantee the long-term progressive governance of the country and close the wounds caused to the Greek economy by memorandums and recession.”