As the Greek nation stares chaos in the face, Alexis Tsipras, leader of the far-left SYRIZA courts the international press, but has no clear strategy to govern Greece soundly if elected.
The UK's Guardian is impressed with the former Communists "good looks, raven black hair and propensity for rousing oratory" saying "Tsipras comes across more as a pin-up, (which is how many in Greece see him) than a saviour, which is how a great deal of others see him." Greek voters were not looking for a pin-up though but an alternative choice to the two party system that has dominated Greece, and espoused corruption.
The well respected Greek newspaper Ekathimerini takes a more realistic view of Tsipras as it notes "SYRIZA is basking in its election success, both at home and in foreign media, as if it had been hiding in the mountains and in the hearts of much of the population for decades after the civil war."
Interviewed by the New York Times Tsipras impressed as a strategist but they concluded he "may be riding the tide of anti-austerity, but it remains to be seen if he has what it takes to steer the ship. Pressed to present an alternative to the current loan agreement — or his plans for restoring Greece to growth while keeping it in the euro zone — he offered few, if any, specifics."
The prospect of his bluff being called will be felt by ordinary Greeks next week when the cost of medicines will rise 75 percent as citizens will be required to pay their full price with no guarantee of reimbursement from the social security fund they contributed to, a worry for many already battling austerity. This dramatic change will spread alarm about the prospect of coming adrift from the eurozone. Only a week ago his party reportedly suggested raiding the bank accounts of private citizens to prop up the government coffers.
Tsipras hopes to convince the EU that Greece can stay in the euro whilst tearing up the "memorandum of understanding" with its creditors. However the NYT noted beyond his calling for yet more state control "he did not offer specifics beyond faulting the Socialists and center-right New Democracy for building up a jobs-for-votes system that helped Greece’s public debt balloon."
Ekathimerini opined "Our politicians play at politics" adding they "play roles they cannot break out of. Scared of each other, seeing nothing but each other, they cannot compromise. We see this in the result of their words and their deeds: They care nothing for citizens."
Greeks face an uncertain time ahead as society begins to unravel with no clear government direction. If SYRIZA garners the majority vote in the June 17 elections Tsipras could well become an international figure, either feted or lambasted.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com