On the one hand, Alexis Tsipras has abandoned the ridiculous strategy of creating a division between pro- and anti-memorandum forces that had so split the country. He was forced to do so after signing Greece’s third tough bailout agreement.
On the other hand, however, he has created a new, frustrating divisive tactic by introducing the concept of old and new, which is a key part of his pre-election campaign.
His new catch phrases suggest that he represents the new, and that all the other parties, particularly those that insist on championing Greece’s place in the eurozone, represent the old. This is obviously yet another ploy to try to convince voters that SYRIZA is willing to implement the reforms needed to bring the country up to speed, while the others are still trapped in the past.
The main premise of his argument is that before SYRIZA, it was only PASOK and New Democracy which had ruled Greece after the fall of the 1967-74 junta.
The new narrative adopted by Tsipras – who is also the only spokesperson his party has left – is replete with contradictions and inaccuracies that can easily be spotted in any speech as they’re both numerous and blatant. For example, he talks about a state apparatus that is dominated by political parties and conveniently forgets everything that happened in the seven months he was in power. He also forgets that positions in the civil service were never denied during the post-junta period to leftists, who also had no reason to hide their political affiliations.
More importantly, the statement that Tsipras and SYRIZA represent the new is galling, to say the least, given that their entire position and rhetoric is aimed at maintaining the old and even reviving the older-than-that. This was proven by SYRIZA itself, which governed for seven months in an absolutely statist fashion, which kept (or even returned) many of the kinks in the system that derailed Greece in the first place, made unions reliant on the state again, undermined any effort to attract investments and did all that with overall anti-European approach. These were the basic characteristics of the coalition government made up of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks, with the crown, of course, being their complete ineptitude in public administration and ignorance of the situation in Europe and around the world. It was this ineptitude and ignorance that led them to such failure, and a self-confessed one at that.
Maybe Tsipras is defining the new and the old based on his age, but he shouldn’t forget that there are more than a few septuagenarians in his party ranks as well.