The centre-left and the progressive space in turmoil

The centre-left and the progressive space in turmoil

In the aftermath of the resounding outcome of the European elections and in the face of the national elections in July, the Greek centre-left faces strategic decisions.

Right now, even after his defeat by ND, SYRIZA retains on the political map the role of the main and strongest exponent of the progressive side and the left. The establishment of the progressive alliance and the cooperation with PASOK executives, both at a central level and at a local level in municipalities and regions, is maintained by the leadership of SYRIZA as a strategic choice.

SYRIZA aims to establish itself as the progressive pole against New Democracy’s neo-liberal and conservative program. Besides, Alexis Tsipras continues to attend as an observer, but also as a privileged interlocutor in the European Socialist Party. That is why Alexis Tsipras appealed again to the progressive citizens, but also to the centrists, who do not want a right-wing government that would create the risk of returning to austerity policies.

KINAL in crisis

At the same time, the Movement for Change is facing a risk that could even pose a matter of political survival for the party. Fofi Gennimata with her choice to place at the bottom of the ballot (without a cross) PASOK’s former president and finance minister during A. Samara’s coalition government – thus making it impossible for him to be elected – leads to turbulence within the party.

Moreover, Evangelos Venizelos is a historical member of PASOK and KINAL, with great influence both within the party and the voters. Already, dozens of members and executives of KINAL have tabled their resignations, protesting the president’s choices. The main accusation made by Ev. Venizelos and his supporters is that she is converting KINAL into a “tail of SYRIZA”.

For her part, Gennimata with this “gamble” is trying to send a message of distancing herself from New Democracy. This is because Ev. Venizelos represents greatly from his past, but also from his occasional positions, the approach of K. Mitsotakis. And he was the rapporteur of the logic of a “strategic defeat of SYRIZA”.

She also has an eye for the frustrated left-wing voters for whom Ev. Venizelos is a “red flag”. No one can say for certain that this plan will work on July 7. It appears difficult, due to the polarization between SYRIZA and ND.

The correlations after the elections will decide much

A lot will be judged from the results of the election. If ND achieves a parliamentary majority, KINAL will bet on the devastation of SYRIZA, which it accuses of attempting to “take over” the centre-left. But if K. Mitsotakis does not achieve the majority, Gennimata will be forced to provide support in order to avoid putting the country in an electoral adventure of non-governance. Something that would confirm the strategic and political impasse of KINAL, as it will again have to co-operate with the Right. Assuming the numbers add up and the most likely scenario is confirmed, of course.

It is a given that SYRIZA and Al. Tsipras will intensify the call to the progressive and centre-left citizens, accusing F. Gennimata of not making a progressive turn, as she exercises “Venizelos’ policies without Venizelos.” Whether the KINAL crisis will reinforce SYRIZA, remains to be seen at the ballot box./ibna