“We have no plan to increase contributions and taxes on households and small and medium-sized businesses. Our program has relief”
The at stake in the June 25 election described the president of SYRIZA-PS Alexis Tsipras talking to citizens in Lake Evia.
Mr. Tsipras did not hide that the result of May 21 was a shock for everyone, however he added “you are allowed to fall, you must get up and fight”. But he noted that the next elections are critical as a government is elected in them. Tsipras emphasized the need to there is a change in correlations and for SYRIZA to come out strong so that it can block the looting plans of the social majority.
The history of SYRIZA is something important not for us personally, but for society.
When you come to respond to the demands and needs of society, then you are not in danger of being a damn star.
You are allowed to fall, you must get up.
Get up and… pic.twitter.com/a6i7q3Msc5
— Alexis Tsipras (@atsipras) June 3, 2023
Talking to the citizens, he asked rhetorically: “What does Mr. Mitsotakis want at this time?” He wants even those who do not vote for him – because yes he got 40% but 60% did not vote for him – not to choose SYRIZA. To choose smaller parties. The one thing they don’t want even if they win is a party staring them in the eye and preventing them from carrying out their plan.
So we have to address the citizens, not only to the new democrats, but to those who believe that the result does not change, that everything has been decided and either they do not go to the ballot box or they will choose smaller parties. But this is exactly what the system and the ND want, to be uncontrollable tomorrow. To address them and tell them that despite the disagreements, reservations and even anger towards us, that we all at this time have a responsibility to prevent their omnipotence. Because if the next day they are uncontrollable, they will come with 180 deputies – as Mr. Georgiadis said – to change the Constitution by themselves. Because they want to impose the logic of speculation on the country’s Constitution. They want not only private universities and private hospitals, they want private energy, private water, no rights. The only one who can prevent this is SYRIZA-PS, either by overturning at the ballot box – because everything is possible – or by significantly strengthening it so that it is the next day the strong force that will look them in the eye and prevent social plunder. The history of the country has both defeats and victories for all political forces. We have to reach out to people and convince them that our lives are decided in this ballot box. Give us strength to defend the interests of the social majority.”
It’s not the citizens’ fault
Making a self-criticism, Mr. Tsipras said: “We are responsible if we did not convince the citizens, not the citizens. Our responsibility is not to sit and cry over spilled milk, but to speak to the citizens, not to accuse them, not to come and point the finger at them but to talk to them about the future of the place. So we will break the fear if we talk to them about the possibilities of the prospect of political change or reversal of associations. There are even new democrats who do not want an all-powerful prime minister, people who know what happened in the previous four years and are ashamed of the surveillance of violations of the rule of law. This may not have been crucial for the choice of vote, but they saw them, lived them and understand that if they are uncontrolled this time they will do even worse”.
He then searched together with the citizens for the causes of the negative result: “I came here to Evia and asked to do a different event, to listen. To be able to have a good result, because this ballot box is the crucial and decisive one and we have to draw some conclusions about what has happened. What are the social shifts, what are the causes. We want to understand the causes that resulted in the result in areas such as Northern Evia that throughout these four years have suffered degradation and targeting, exploitation. Although two years later the fires – which discredited the staff state – there has been no substantial support from the people, surprisingly, we saw that the party of Mr. Mitsotakis and the government had very high percentages. We want to understand what happened last Sunday.”
Referred to on the outcome of the election he said: “It was a shock, nobody expected this result. Our mistakes have nothing to do with the strategy to the right or to the left, they have to do with the lack of discipline and seriousness, with statements in the media a few days before the elections that caused an avalanche of reactions. They also have to do with our strategic entrapment in a vision that was for us simply analogical. A vision to change the political system, to stop this toxicity, to have cooperative governments. This vision was burned, not by Mr. Mitsotakis, who was oriented towards self-reliant governments, governments of arrogance that led us to bankruptcy. The vision was definitively burned by the parties of the progressive space, which we gave them the hand of cooperation throughout the pre-election period and they wanted to cut off our hand. They made a one-front against us and not to the right of Mr. Mitsotakis.
A new battle
The simple proportional elections are over, the simple proportional suffered a defeat and we suffered a defeat because we followed this strategy. The elections of June 25 are with enhanced proportionality and the context is completely different. With the enhanced one, people vote for who will come out first because whoever comes out first will get the 40 seats to govern. The two parties that are facing each other despite the difference are ND and SYRIZA because these two have alternative plans for governance. There are no governing plans from the other parties, there is only the goal of reducing SYRIZA, but this cannot be a goal for society, because society is concerned with how it will live tomorrow. Not what the correlations between the parties will be. So we don’t look back, we look forward and we want to look and talk about people’s problems. In these elections, it is judged how we will be governed, our lives are judged, not only persons and parties are judged”.
He then criticized the government, noting that it has given examples of writing: “It is a government that had the ‘luck’ of our entry into the EMU and then to have the margin of a fiscal expansion that far exceeded all the possibilities that the previous governments had together . This happened because of the pandemic. But while we had the obligation to collect 40 billion for the country to get out of the memorandums and go to the markets and decide on its own, the government had the ability to spend more than 60 billion. The big question is how and where it was spent, what infrastructure was created, what happened to the public health system.” Mr. Tsipras cited the health sector as an example: “In December 2019, the public health system was 108,000 doctors, nurses, administrative staff, in December 2022 there were 84,000 people. The National Health System has shrunk. Greece is the country that has this scary rate of private health spending, 35% of total spending, while the average in Europe is 15%.”
“Where did the 60 billion euros go”?
Mr. Tsipras raised the question where were these 60 billion euros spent? And he added: “We had not 10 billion but 15 billion euros in direct assignments and closed tenders. At home obviously. In 2022 alone, 10 billion euros were spent on subsidies that inflated the profits of energy companies. And we are told by those who gave 15 billion and 10 billion euros that you will find the 5.5 billion that your program costs to give 2,000 euros to the first appointed doctor, where will you find the money needed to reduce the Excise Tax Consumption tax and the VAT that rob the household income, for the 13th pension that they abolished when they became the government”.
Reported to major matter of accuracy and taxation saying: “An income of €750 in 2019 had a 40% higher purchase value than it does today. Income in four years has lost 40% of its purchasing power due to inflation, the numbers say. What else do they say? That the taxes increased in the quadrennial. That it is a lie that they decreased. They decreased only for the few and for the many they increased. Taxes increased by 4.5 billion euros per year. From where; From indirect taxes. When you have inflation running at 10% to raise taxes you don’t have to raise rates, just keep them flat.”
He also responded to the “propaganda of the opponents of the SYRIZA program”: “We we have no plan to increase contributions and taxes on households, and small and medium enterprises. On the contrary, our program has reliefs, priced down to the last euro. The abolition of the trade fee, the reduction of the VAT and the social security tax, the tax-free to 10,000 euros, this is what our program has. Government propaganda has created a tsunami of misinformation that SYRIZA is supposedly coming to increase freelancers’ contributions, a lie that has cost us dearly. By our mistakes, but it’s a lie. We, on the other hand, provide debt settlement for freelancers with a write-off and settlement of 120 installments.
He also referred to the issue of the first home, saying that with the auctions “there will be the biggest redistribution of wealth that the country has seen” and continued: “They tell us that we will tax the refineries and the energy companies. We will create conditions, we will tax the powerful and the super profits”. He finally referred to his challenge to Mr. Mitsotakis: “Yesterday I asked Mr. Mitsotakis to take our programs wherever he wants for evaluation and the next day to come and discuss them in a televised debate, neither one accepted nor the other” . And he concluded that “it was not the truth that was defeated in the previous elections, it was our inability to highlight the truth that was defeated.”