The second SYRIZA conference, the first with the leftist party in power, was staged like an intended celebration, but unfortunately for the hosts, there was nothing to celebrate.
In his opening speech, Alexis Tsipras seemed like a man who has lost his political fire and tries to replace it with an arrogance that only belongs to small banana republic dictators.
This may sound like a harsh word to use for the Greek Prime Minister whose every other word is “democracy,” but his efforts to change the constitution, to put his own people in all independent authorities, his suspicious pampering of the highest judicial body, his effort to control mass media, changes in education and overtaxing the private sector to the point of extinction, look like authoritarian methods.
Another proof that SYRIZA tries to become an authoritative regime is the constant creation of “enemies of the people.” First on the list are, of course, the parties of the opposition. They are not political opponents, they are enemies who fight the administration’s work vehemently and with vicious means. Then it is the International Monetary Fund and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who want to kill Greek society. As if Germany and the IMF have not kept Greece afloat with their loans. Then the big enemy is neoliberalism. Just like in Nazi Germany where the big enemy was communism. Like people suffering from persecution mania, Tsipras and his cohorts see enemies everywhere, enemies who try to undermine the government.
And all this at a time when his friend, French President Francois Hollande wrote in his book that in April 2015 Tsipras asked Russian President Vladimir Putin if Greece can print drachmas in Russia. If this is true, then Tsipras disregarded the Greeks’ wish to remain in the euro zone.
Tsipras and his party came to power lying shamelessly to the Greek people. Then he lied to creditors and European partners. In the conference he lied to his own, in an effort to keep the party together. No problem there, SYRIZA members have no problem lying to the people and each other. We see them on television every day and we know.
Addressing the converted, he said that the government kept true to all its pledges. He said, with a straight face, that in the past few months the Greek economy is growing and is about to take off, that a generous debt relief is coming soon, promised the hiring of 10,000 doctors, the voting age will be 17 years (at least he can achieve that), he will try to bring constitutional reforms “for the people” and so on.
During his speech he used the word “socialism” several times. Maybe he was winking to the PASOK strays who were in the audience. Or maybe he used the word because the “Left” word has bored Greek people. Or, he was trying to show that his party is now open to more conservative voters who shy away from the party’s communist background.
And what was truly laughable was the part where he spoke for the need of a SYRIZA ethics committee and his suggestion that the cabinet and party MPs should behave ethically like good leftists.