Tsipras seek­ing im­pe­tus

SYRIZA chief urges party to snap into life as polls show wide­spread dis­sat­is­fac­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

With opin­ion polls in­di­cat­ing that the Sep- tem­ber 20 elec­tions will be very close, Alexis Tsipras told his SYRIZA mem­bers on Satur­day that there is no time for mourn­ing af­ter the split in their party caused by the agree­ment for the coun­try’s third bailout.

“Who­ever wants to mourn, can mourn,” he said at party con­fer­ence in Athens. “Who­ever wants to es­cape has the right to es­cape. We are mov­ing for­ward, only for­ward.”

“Only for­ward” will also be SYRIZA’s slo­gan dur­ing the brief elec­tion cam­paign.

The week­end con­fer­ence was aimed at over­com­ing navel-gaz­ing within the party fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of a large group of rebel MPs who cre­ated the anti-bailout Pop- ular Unity party. “This marks the of­fi­cial start of SYRIZA’s elec­tion cam­paign, with the aim of ral­ly­ing the party’s or­ga­nized forces and the grass­roots ahead of the new phase in the bat­tle,” Tsipras told mem­bers.

Apart from the split with its left wing, SYRIZA has also been rocked by a se­ries of opin­ion polls in­di­cat­ing that it has only a nar­row lead over New Democ­racy. The sur­veys also point to an un­der­ly­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the per­for­mance of the SYRIZAIn­de­pen­dent Greeks coali­tion.

A Mace­do­nia Univer­sity poll for Skai TV and Ra­dio found that 56.5 per­cent of vot­ers had a neg­a­tive view of the gov­ern­ment’s per­for­mance. Only 16 per­cent felt it was pos­i­tive. In terms of the han­dling of the econ­omy, the coali­tion scored only 2.9 points out of a max­i­mum 10. Its high­est score came in the field of for­eign pol­icy, where it gar­nered just 3.7 out of 10.

New Democ­racy is hop­ing that apart from hold­ing on to the votes it gained in Jan­uary, it will also be able to per­suade dis­grun­tled vot­ers who mi­grated to SYRIZA at the be­gin­ning of the year to re­turn to the fold.

The con­ser­va­tives are ex­pected to present their man­i­festo on Sun­day, Septem­ber 6, and party leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis is ex­pected to give his main news con­fer­ence at the Thes­sa­loniki In­ter­na­tional Fair a week later.

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