OPINION

Shaping up for opposition

Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing, anti-bailout SYRIZA grouping have undertaken a very crucial institutional role as Greece?s main opposition party. The country needs a strong opposition and a serious political alternative. SYRIZA has failed to convince voters that it is ready to fulfill this role.

Quite the opposite in fact. When its young supporters chant references to the post-WWII civil war, they only succeed in intimidating the vast majority of the public, who know well the difference between armed insurrection and civil war, on the one hand, and political opposition within the contours of a parliamentary democracy, on the other.

The same goes for the infamous constituents of the party and the various extremist figures who occupy key posts inside SYRIZA.

If Tsipras really wants to be treated as a convincing and responsible political leader, he will have to begin by controlling or doing away with the extremists inside his grouping whose statements and actions have placed them beyond the limits of parliamentary democracy — even by the standards of Europe?s most progressive left-wing parties.