Alavanos steps off the stage

Alekos Alavanos, the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), bade farewell to Greek politics last night and called for his party to fight the dominance of PASOK and New Democracy. Alavanos said that Greece’s fourth-largest party is in a position to have an impact on the stranglehold of the two main parties as he gave his last official speech before stepping down for personal reasons. «The time has come for us to take out of storage all our dreams and struggles and adapt them to today’s conditions,» said Alavanos, who led his party to an impressive showing at last September’s general election. SYRIZA doubled its parliamentary seats to 14 in the polls, with just over 5 percent of the popular vote. Alavanos was speaking at the party’s conference in Athens, which began yesterday and will run until Sunday, when the party will elect a new leader. Alexis Tsipras, 33, is the clear favorite to succeed the 57-year-old. He wished his successor to be responsible for «work that will be inspired and fruitful so our garden will be filled with the most beautiful flowers.»