Will SYRIZA be the political victim of Alexis Tsipras in his effort to save himself politically, with an eye to elections? That is the question that has been hovering over the political scene for the last few days, ahead of the pre-announced cabinet reshuffle, which will reveal the true intentions of the prime minister and what room for flexibility he may have.
With that in mind, the strategy of the PM’s communications team is obvious.
Already in the first few days after the Mati wildfire disaster, there was an effort to depict Mr. Tsipras as the absolute leader, to attribute responsibilities to underlings, and deficiencies in state services to previous governments and to the fire-stricken themselves.
Following the national address in Ithaca on the bailout exit, and with a view to the cabinet reshuffle, there is an effort to depict the PM as the maximum leader, as the person who has the capability to make magical political moves and to shoulder the burden of the salvation of the party.
This strategy was unveiled in the PM’s speech in Ithaca, where he alluded to himself as the “captain” of the ship of state.
‘ND, Syriza are the old regime’
Meanwhile, a pro-government website posted an unsigned text regarding the cabinet reshuffle, which was seen as reflecting absolutely the views of the PM’s office.
“The country is proceeding definitively to the next day, and it cannot be governed by the political forces of yesterday, whether that is called New Democracy or SYRIZA. It must adopt a new vantage point in its view of governments, which will include individuals that are distinguished in society, people with capabilities who can mark the beginning of a truly new era,” the post said.
All this presages the next moves in the government’s strategy. Tsipras will be depicted as a unique leadership figure, who “has the way” to get things done, and to whom the government and the party must subjugate themselves.
Despite the optimistic, ambitious, and largely arrogant efforts for people to forget all the events of the last weeks, which have highlighted individual and governmental inadequacies, the moves that are unfolding in public and on the sidelines exhibit a different picture.
Even if Mr. Tsipras views SYRIZA as a political albatross, he will have to ply the course until the elections with the party, as he is not able to expand the representation of other political forces in the government.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos sent his own message to the prime minister in a statement.
“We are writing new pages after the political Odyssey of the memorandums. It will not be easy, but we are writing them along with the people who supported us all these years in the government and the party,” he said in a written statement.