Tsipras pens ‘Was Andreas (Papandreou) a liar?, sparks shrill political reactions

4 September 2017
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Leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras picked the Sunday anniversary of the establishment of one of his political adversaries to shake up the usually languid end-of-summer political landscape in the country, penning an opinion piece entitled “Was Andreas a liar?”

The “Andreas” in question is Andreas Papandreou, the late three-time Greek prime minister and political firebrand who founded his Panhellenic Socialist Movement – better known as PASOK – on Sept. 3, 1974.
The front-page article, bannered on a pro-government and leftist weekly called “Documento”, generated a firestorm of reaction by the political opposition, especially from the decidedly more social democrat PASOK of today.
“From the party of change (PASOK) we’ve passed to the party’s change,” Tsipras said in reference to the once dominant PASOK, who ruled for more than two decades in the country since 1981.

He also charged that the “PASOK characterized by (political) victory and change wound up an ally of the hard right”. Moreover, Tsipras delineated between the period when PASOK was led by Papandreou and the same party after his death in June 1995. In borrowing from class struggle playbook, Tsipras blamed post-Papandreou PASOK for “a decentralization of corruption, a degeneration of ideas and people, cynicism and an erosion of the popular (class) strata.”

In a curt reply, current PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata called Tsipras a “peddler of hope”.
“His effort to appear as the new Andreas Papandreou isn’t just arrogant and comical, it hubris.”
The reply by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis came by Facebook on Sunday morning, where the latter referred to a “dive into yesteryear”.

“Mr. Tsipras has in the past painted the (political) hagiography of Constantine Karamanlis, and now of Andreas Papandreou. Maybe next year he’ll do the same for Constantine Mitsotakis,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in citing three former Greek premiers and dominant political leaders of the second half of the 20th century, the third of which was his late father.

With Mitsotakis and his center-right ND party leading by double-digit percentage points in all mainstream opinion polls over recent months, the former minister charged that Tsipras was “fishing in murky waters, turning to the past because he (Tsipras) has undermined the present and future of the country … We won’t follow him in this dive into yesteryear. We’re interested in the Greece of 2030, not how Greece was in 1980.”

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