Several European Union officials believe that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must rid of SYRIZA’s leftist platform and the nationalistic coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) in order for negotiations with creditors to have a positive outcome for Greece, according to a Financial Times report.
Alexis Tsipras must choose if he wants to be the prime minister of Greece or the leader of the SYRIZA leftist party, the European officials say. If he wants the former, he must form a coalition with center-left parties To Potami and PASOK.
The euro zone officials who spoke to the Financial Times claim that they don’t want to propose changes to the Greek government, but that they are frustrated with Greece’s stance in the negotiations. They say that the leftists within SYRIZA oppose all measures and reforms Greece’s bailout program entails.
Among the officials who express this opinion are several finance ministers who believe that the Greek government cannot survive with the extreme leftists who represent one-third of SYRIZA and act as if they were the opposition party within SYRIZA. According to the report, the hard leftists can topple the government if they decide to vote against it in parliament.
“We used to be of a more debating society than political party . . . so it is hard to get a system of party discipline up and running. But you have to remember – we’ve been in power less than 100 days,” a SYRIZA official said.
The Financial Times report says that Panagiotis Lafazanis — minister of productive reconstruction, environment and energy — is the leader of the leftist platform and he is as popular as Tsipras within the party. The leftists are very likely to veto reforms European partners want to see implemented.
Despite the fact that Tsipras shows a more moderate profile when in Brussels or Berlin, it is too early for him to risk a conflict with members of his own party.
According to the report, the rightist nationalist Panos Kammenos must go too. The leader of junior coalition party Independent Greeks has repeatedly shown an anti-Europe stance.
Euro zone finance ministers have also expressed their frustration with Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his lukewarm attitude towards a possible Grexit. His often condescending attitude has alienated most of his counterparts. Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan suggested that Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis should be Greece’s negotiator as he is more pragmatic.