Tsipras talks up SYRIZA's negotiating power

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras believes a leftist government would negotiate more effectively with Greece’s eurozone partners than one led by New Democracy and PASOK.

Speaking on Thursday following his return to Athens after trips to Paris and Berlin, Tsipras derided New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos.

“They are the moral and actual instigators of Greece’s tragedy,” he said. “Greece needs a leadership that can go abroad and not just say what foreign leaders are prepared to here but say what the Greek people wants to be said. It has to draw red lines, to plan a strategy and to stand up for the rights of Greeks. Only a government of the left can do this.”

SYRIZA came second in the May 6 elections, behind New Democracy, and is vying with the conservatives for first spot on June 17.

SYRIZA spokesman Vassilis Moulopoulos said the leftists were encouraged by the reception they received in France and Germany but said that they disagreed with the view expressed by many of their counterparts that Greece should implement the terms of the loan agreement first and then seek to make changes through negotiations with the eurozone members.

Moulopoulos also criticised the press coverage in Greece of Tsipras’s trip. He accused the media of falsely suggesting the French President Francois Hollande was irked by Tsipras’s warning that he should live up to his pre-election commitments and not become “Holland-reou”, a reference to former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Moulopoulos said SYRIZA was determined to smash the web of interests that have led to Greek media losing their independence. “The network of entangled interest is as follows: Money for the production of information, information for the production of politics and politics for the production of money,” he said.


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