Beleaguered Tsipras looking for new allies


With the coalition riven by divisions and the government’s narrative that Greece is back on track being compromised by a series of crises, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is reportedly looking for new allies from the center-left.

According to reports, Tsipras wants to form a new “progressive pillar” and last week’s meeting with Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of the centrist To Potami party, was no coincidence.

Tspiras’s search for allies also coincides with mounting criticism over the way the government has handled the alleged bribery scandal involving the Swiss pharma giant Novartis and Greek politicians, the crisis in the Greek soccer league, the arrest of the two Greek soldiers in Turkey and the negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name dispute.

Moreover, Tsipras has decided to distance the government from Panos Kammenos, the defense minister and leader of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL), who has strayed from the official line regarding the two Greek soldiers and the negotiations with FYROM.

At the same time, criticism within ruling SYRIZA is growing that ANEL is becoming a liability for the government.

Pressure on Tsipras and Kammenos is expected to mount further with reports that the defense minister could come under investigation over the attempted arms sale to Saudi Arabia through a mediator.