Greece News Weekly

SYRIZA changes strategy ahead of early election

Still reeling from a devastating showing in last weekend’s European Parliament election, leftist SYRIZA officials met on Wednesday to discuss strategy ahead of a second round of local authority polls and a looming snap general election.


According to sources, the broader sense in the party is that the 600,000 or so voters that it lost either abstained or migrated to more centrist parties, including conservative New Democracy.

One explanation for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ failure to convince voters, reportedly held by many in the party, is that he was patronizing toward low-income Greeks, promising them handouts without pointing to prospects for improving their lives.

In an attempt to correct this stance, SYRIZA’s political secretariat issued a statement after Wednesday’s meeting in a different tone to its usual statements. Instead of referring to the “working class” and the “privileged,” the statement noted that the party’s proposed program for a new term would be based on boosting growth with a focus on innovation and creating new jobs.

Meanwhile, ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was meeting with candidates for regional governors backed by his party ahead of Sunday’s runoff.

“The role of the regions is decisive for tomorrow’s Greece, so I put great emphasis on choosing people who believe in New Democracy’s government program,” he said.

The party is keen to broaden ND’s influence ahead of a snap poll on July 7 that the conservatives are expected to win.

Centrist To Potami confirmed it will not be running in the polls. The party was all but wiped out in the European election, where it got just 1.51 percent of the vote compared to 6.61 percent in the previous EU election in 2014.