SYRIZA Conference Starts Amid Conflicts, Doubt, Determination to Stay in Power



tsipras-synedrio-syrizaThe second SYRIZA conference starts today (Thursday) with a speech by party leader, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The conference finds the leftist party in government and it will be very different than the first conference in 2013 when they were in opposition.

Tsipras will speak to his partisan audience in an effort to bring together those who doubt the party policies and those who are determined to stay in power by all means necessary.

The work will be completed on Sunday with the election of party president and central committee.

The conference at the Tae Kwon Do arena is considered crucial for party unity, as political analysts say, but they believe that those who are determined to stay in power will prevail. Also, the conference will be crucial for the cabinet reshuffle that will follow, as soon as Monday, some say.

There are a few SYRIZA MPs and members who allegedly challenge Tsipras’ leadership. They belong to one of the tendencies and unspoken alliances that exist within the party.

Historical members of SYRIZA will play a key role in the conference. Those include House President Nikos Voutsis, State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, Education Minister Nikos Filis, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis and Government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis, one of the party founders. These persons have a special relationship with the party leadership.

There is also the so-called “unification movement,” as analysts call it, the relatively new persons in the party who emerged during the months the party is governing. They are State Minister Nikos Pappas, Secretary General of the Prime Minister and close collaborator Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili and Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas.

It is unknown how the “Movement of 53” will act during the conference. These are the hard leftists of the party who often complain about party policies, led by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. SYRIZA spokeswoman Rania Svigkou, Shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas, NSRF Undersecretary Alexis Haritsis, Deputy House President Tasia Christodoulopoulou are included in the “53.”

Another tendency within the party is “Platform 2010,” including Deputy Interior Minister Yiannis Balafas, MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis, and Prefect of Attica Rena Dourou, Deputy Education Minister Sia Anagnostopoulou and Head of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group Costas Zachariadis.

Finally, there is the group of those who come from PASOK, such as Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis, Political Secretariat member Antonis Kotsakis and Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis.