In his main pre-election speech to a large crowd in Omonia Square, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Thursday called on Greeks to boost support for his party and grant it the chance to govern independently while challenging the austerity policies of the country’s international creditors. “We are asking for a clean mandate, crystal-clear, undiluted, indisputable,” Tsipras told his audience, which included the leader of Spain’s anti-austerity movement Podemos, Pablo Iglesias.
“Hope has arrived and will write history,” he added. “Nothing can stop it now.”
Responding to supporters chanting, “The time of the left has come,” Tsipras sought to strike a unifying stance, calling on all Greeks to join together “in a national harmony, a social alliance, a patriotic alliance.”
Tsipras, whose party is maintaining a strong lead in opinion polls over conservative New Democracy, insisted on the need for SYRIZA to secure a parliamentary majority, “so we can finish with corruption, so we can finish with party politicking and cronynism.”
The leftist leader insisted that he would not share power with “the administrators of the memorandum,” referring to Greece’s loan agreements with the troika, which came with tough terms attached. He also lashed out at Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of “defaming his country, democracy and his people.”