As Greeks prepare to head to the polls for the third time in nine months, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is the subject of an article in the Wednesday edition of French newspaper Liberation.
In his profile of Tsipras, journalist Jean Quatremer discusses the fragmented nature of SYRIZA that consists of various political groups and the effects of this structure on Tsipras’ negotiations with the country’s international creditors.
The article alludes to a reported incident during negotiations when Tsipras seems to have been persuaded by his aides to back down from a commitment he had made earlier that day.
“This chaotic way that the government works is characteristic of SYRIZA. Because, in reality, Alexis Tsipras was not a Prime Minister, but simply ‘first among equals’ within a complex political mechanism,” the author wrote.
Tsipras, according to the article, had to ensure that the various constituencies within the party were in accord with his negotiating direction, something that led to conflicted opinions from international creditors. European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici seemed to believe that Tsipras knew what he was doing while others felt he lacked a negotiating strategy.
The article also described the result of the July 5 referendum, which called on Greeks to accept or turn down a bailout deal proposed by creditors, as a “catastrophe” for Greece’s position in Europe.
“Tsipras did not have a Plan B. On July 14, he explained that he asked for a study on the consequences of a Grexit, which made him reject this option. He who did not want a third program ultimately had to consent to even stricter conditions than those he was initially willing to do,” Quatremer wrote.