January 31, 2013

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Alexis Tsipras: What’s his Real Mask?

English: Alexis Tsipras in a press conference ...
(credit: Wikipedia)
Exclusive To HellasFrappe
By Alex Aliferis

(WASHINGTON) - SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras spoke at the Brookings Institute on Jan 22 in Washington D.C in what some say was a speech that was trying desperately to hide its violent past and radical agenda. Has SYRIZA put on a different mask in a PR ploy to communicate its message? No one knows, but Tsipras attempted to "act" as a Prime Minister, but those attending agreed that he is unfit to govern because he has no concrete plan to grow the economy, or tackle corruption.

At Brookings, the topic was ‘Greece and the Economic Challenges Ahead’. The moderators were Greek American William Antholis of Brookings and Domenico Lombardi, a senior fellow at Brookings.
The first thing I noticed while attending the event was the Brookings Bio for Alexis Tsipras which mentioned that he was elected in 2004 to the Central Committee of the Coalition of the Radical Left Synaspismos where he had first served as Political Secretariat. It said that in Feb 2008 he was elected president of the party when it adopted the title of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) replacing Synaspismos. They said that in 2006 Tsipras ran for Mayor of Athens and that he was first elected to Greek parliament in 2009. While it was also mentioned that Tsipras attended Athens Polytechnic University and obtained a civil engineering degree with post graduate studies in urban planning. The only thing they did not mention was how he ended up siding with Synaspismos.

In fact, the Brookings Institute ignored the subject altogether leaving out the history of how SYRIZA ended up splitting up from the Greek Communist Party (KKE). This was a little bizzare to me considering Alexis Tsipras was President of the Communist Youth in the early 1990’s.

Maybe this is an irrelevant observation, but it should be noted that SYRIZA acknowledges its Trotskyite Communist roots, and from what I gather the Brookings Institute is tied to the leftist Democrat party.
What some people might not know, however, is that the Turkish government funded the Brookings Institute in the past. In fact, ex-Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Talat spoke at Brookings in 2005.
And what is even more interesting is that when SYRIZA arrived at the Institute -with a large entourage from Athens- the majority in the room were indeed of Greek origin, but at the same time many members of the Turkish and Skopian Lobbies attended.

What’s SYRIZA’s Philosophy?

So what is SYRIZA's real philosophy? This is a good question and it is still unanswered. The Brookings event never mentioned the true background of SYRIZA but being of Greek background, I know that they are a coalition of fringe left wing groups with roots in the Euro Communist movement of the late 1960’s which split from KKE (Greek Communist Party of Greece) in 1999 and adhered to Trotskyite Communism.
From what we read in the press, we also know that some key members of SYRIZA have openly defined themselves as anarchists. Some anarchists have even apparently expressed their indirect support for an armed struggle to take over Greece through violence.

Rena Douroucoulis said, “SYRIZA will not back off one step from the declaration of Koryschades.” The declaration refers to a May 27, 1944 political declaration of Greek communists to take over power through an armed struggle. On Dec 1944, the Communists rose up in violent revolt. The Greek Communists went on a murderous rampage killing thousands of innocent Greeks till 1949.

A candidate for the SYRIZA party in the first Greek elections last May, (even though SYRIZA denies this), Ifikratis Amryas, advocated for an urban guerilla war to take over Greece. In fact his statements made headlines before the second elections in June. He was later questioned by the prosecution over the videos he uploaded on YouTube describing these guerrilla warfare tactics, and till this day he openly and publicly still makes such statements on alternative news channels.

Moreover, in recent weeks, Greek police have raided several historic villas (or anarchist squats) that were illegally occupied by anarchist or anti-authoritarian groups as hangouts. This caused an angry reaction by SYRIZA, and some of its MPs even went on national television and indirectly defended the weaponry that was found at these premises which consisted of materials used for Molotov bombs, clubs, gas masks, cement slabs, etc. In fact one MP said that items such as clubs, and gas masks can be found in most Greek homes!

Some bomb attacks or threats by the anarchist movement -which is indirectly (and very discretely) supported by SYRIZA- has apparently set off blasts around Athens, including a recent one at the infamous "The Mall" department store. And let us not forget that several hooligans, or anarchists, are also reportedly suspected of torching the Marfin Bank in 2010 where three people died, including a woman who was pregnant.

Finally, a prominent SYRIZA MP recently proposed that Orthodox Christians be taxed in support of their Church. He did not however mention if such a tax would be applied on other religions, but rather only went on a rant about Greek Orthodox Christians.

SYRIZA’s Economy

According to Tsipras, the economic crisis is not strictly Greek. The credit system stopped because Greek banks could not lend out any more capital. At the event, the leader of SYRIZA spoke about the high level of unemployment, described how businesses are closing because of a long recession, he spoke about the housing collapse and the debt while he even gave a few suggestions as to how the State should tackle the oligarchy, corruption and scandals.

He then addressed the issue of a poorly designed currency system and compared the Central Bank to the Federal Reserve. At this point, he went on the attack by stating “we now have the phenomena of fascism in the parliament, we are faced to stand next to them.”

At some point in his speech he asked if there is a solid “reason to fear the left.”  Tsipras defended the term ‘Radical’ used in Greece, and SYRIZA, by saying he is the Euro party.

After a speech filled with generalizations, he suddenly opened up his cards and touched on several points about his party's strategy. It was at this point that Tsipras noted that Greece needs to renegotiate the terms of the Memorandum with Germany. SYRIZA, he said, stands with the redistribution of wealth and as such he spoke about a European New Deal.

Several questions were asked by William Antholis on labor strikes. Tsipras said, “No one is happy to strike … Strikes are an effective means to state some one's frustration."

Lombardi jumped in by saying how will you negotiate? (Meaning of course how is his party planning to negotiate with the Troika) and Tsipras answered, “we’re prepared for a battle.” According to him, SYRIZA wants to write off 60% of the debt, promote growth, and get rid of robber barons. Tsipras left it to be understood that he supports social justice, renewable energies, agricultural production, and energy, while he also said he wants to promote increased tourism to Greece.

SYRIZA Foreign Policy
A question was asked about foreign policy. He explained how Greek borders are a hot bed and spoke about a Greek energy hub, peace, cooperation, and stability. Tsipras said, “We have open wounds like Cyprus.”

On the issue of FYROM, Tsipras said he supports a name with a geographical qualifier, but refused to address anything about Turkey or the Greek declaration of the EEZ. In regards to Israel, Tsipras said he wants to develop mutual interests, but noted that he has some reservations over Greek-Israeli military cooperation because, according to him, his party would like to develop relations with Arab countries.

See what I mean... A very weak speech, full of generalizations, that basically did not address anything. I have a feeling Tsipras just wanted to introduce himself to the "big boys". Basic PR, and nothing else!
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