Tuesday, 7 August 2012

German Magazine Brands Tsipras EU Enemy Number 1

Greek Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras in Parliament
ATHENS – Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, whose party is the main opposition to a new Greek coalition government and has been a firebrand against austerity measures, is the most dangerous politician in Europe, heading a top 10 list compiled by the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
“He was christened the most dangerous man in Europe since he became in charge of the far left in Greece and started rejecting any participation in the government,” the news magazine reported. Tsipras narrowly lost the June 17 elections to New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, who did not get enough of the vote to form a government and had to bring in his rivals, the PASOK Socialists and Democratic Left as partners in an uneasy tripartite administration.

During the campaign, Tsipras had vowed to re-do the terms of bailouts from international lenders that included pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that have worsened the Greek economy, and at one point said he would even renege on the deals that are providing the country with $325 billion in two bailout loan packages. “If Greece doesn’t get its next loan installment, the Eurozone will collapse the following day,” he said, adding that he believed the European Union would help Greece at any cost to protect the financial bloc.
Samaras warned that would have pushed Greece out of the 17 countries in the Eurozone using the euro, but after the elections took positions that mirrored many of those of Tsipras, although the Premier relented on his insistence he would renegotiate the terms and has acceded to the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which want more and more austerity.
“Tsipras bases his rhetoric on the argument that it is impossible for Greece to be thrown out of the Eurozone and that makes his opposition proposals more acute,” the news magazine wrote, adding that, “His last proposal was that the Greek government should simply say ‘no’ to negotiations with the Troika. The privatizations constitute a crime. He has been characterized as the most dangerous man in Europe ever since he was the leader of the radical left in Greece and has started going after the government. What is his aim? Tsipras bets on the fact that no one can send Greece away from the Euro and he exerts a structural opposition.”
Tsipras opposes the planned sale or lease of state-owned entities and sell-off of properties as a way to raise money and reduce the country’s staggering $460 billion in debt and warned that if this government proceeds that it would fall and when SYRIZA took power he would reverse the sales and prosecute the buyers of Greek interests. He opposes privatization of the Greek banks, which has already begun with the transfer of assets from performing loans of the former state-run ATEbank to the private Bank of Piraeus. Tsipiras said he would, instead, nationalize private banks. It’s the second time the SYRIZA leader was a target of Spiegel, after a report before the June 17 Greek elections where he was characterized as “uncouth” and a “blackmailer.”
Also on the list is Markus Soder, the Bavarian Finance Minister, who the magazine said wants “an exemplary eviction” of Greece from the Eurozone so that the financial bloc could “show its teeth.” Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is also included for saying the answer to Europe’s financial crisis was for the ECB “to print more euros,” and for wanting to return to power although he was disgraced in a sexual scandal. Others are Timo Soini, leader of the anti-European True Finns party in Finland; Dutch far right-winter Geert Wilders and Hungarian Finance Minister Viktor Orban.
After Samaras and his parters, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis, gave in to the Troika demands for more reforms and another $14.16 billion in cuts, Tspiras accused them of “surrendering” and betraying Greeks. He said the three leaders had reneged on campaign promises to hold the line on more austerity and having a “clear lack of feeling for patriotic responsibility.”

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