At the beginning of the speech, the faces were closed. Gathered in a large hotel in Athens on the evening of May 25, the militants and executives of the central committee of the radical left party Syriza came up against their leader after the debacle of May 21. During the general elections, the left recorded the worst score in its history, 20% of the vote, against more than 40% for the conservatives of New Democracy, the party of outgoing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
But, from his first words, Alexis Tsipras endorsed this historic failure and knew how to convince the reluctant audience, then quick to applaud during the thirty-eight minutes of call to fight for the “last battle, the one that will be decisive”. That to be carried out in a month until the general elections again organized on June 25, at the request of Kyriakos Mitsotakis in search of an absolute majority.
“The time has come to end our mourning”
“After three difficult days, the time has come to put an end to our mourning and to go on the attack, (…) to understand the reason for this result, to understand our mistakes, to put an end to them, to change our campaign and to explain our program”, hammered Alexis Tsipras, standing in front of a fire-engine red wall, struck with the black star, a vestige of a tarnished radicalism in recent years.
“Where was our left-wing commitment all these years? “, thus reproaches him Mavra Sarantopoulou, member of the Central Committee, like a large part of the militants. “Tsipras flirted with the centrists, winked to his right, while promising a leftist policy. An impossible equation. We have lost our class identity, ”she laments.
A criticism that the former head of government (2015-2019) recognizes and even formulates in his speech. “Why did it take this humiliation to understand the obvious? said Anastasia, tired, in the assistance, nevertheless ready to throw herself headlong into battle.
“Tsipras is right, we have no choice, she agrees. From the Mitsotakis years, we inherited a raging and unpunished police force, the telephone tapping scandal, union rights in tatters, etc. If he is master in Parliament, we will live four years of hell. »
Syriza bets on the 42% of abstainers
In fact, as soon as the victory was proclaimed on the evening of May 21, the vice-president of the conservative party, Adonis Georgiadis, from the far right, announced the modification of the Constitution to, according to Syriza, include the draconian reforms of the past four years and those to come. “He made savage liberalism normal, he made us accept poverty wages with allowances rather than raises. It can’t last any longer, ”says Tsipras, in front of an audience that is beginning to believe it. But some still doubt. “How to fight against media subservient to power? Romanos worries.
For Fabien Perrier, author of the book Alexis Tsipras, a Greek history, the explanation of the disaster is profound: “Tsipras did not know how to transform his movement into a mass party, which crosses all strata of society, which affects all the sectors and who gives them solutions. »
To raise the bar, Syriza is counting on the 42% of abstainers “who must be convinced”. A titanic challenge when, by common consent, the dynamic is in favor of the conservatives, endowed, in the country, with a structured network which has already proved its worth. ” We will get there ! wants to believe Angeliki, who came doubtful and leaves with a smile on her face.
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