Are Syriza's days counted?
Alexis Tsipras was re-elected by a large majority as the president of Syriza at the party's conference in Athens. He adopted an aggressive tone in his speech and criticised the austerity policy the country's creditors are imposing on Greece. This show of unity can't conceal the fact that the party's approval ratings are plunging and the Greeks' dissatisfaction is growing, journalists observe.
Nothing but mutual back-slapping
The party conference was devoid of any form of self-criticism, Naftemporiki admonishes:
“There were no critical voices and no calls for accountability for the political decisions and manipulations that have plunged our country into its current nightmare after the signing of the third memorandum. Moreover, no coherent plan for the future has been developed. ... None of that was so much as mentioned in this big show event. Instead we saw narcissism and mutual back-slapping for the 'strong resistance' to the blackmail and threats of the supposed coup [in July 2015 after the referendum].”
From Mister Clean to hate figure
Alexis Tsipras is fighting for his political survival, Ariana Ferentinou, Turkey correspondent for the Greek broadcaster ERT, writes in Hürriyet Daily News:
“Three months before its second anniversary, the leftist Syriza-Anel government has already amassed enough political enemies to feel uneasy. Society is suffering under a new set of austerity measures. Greeks whose income has been drastically reduced by heavy taxation and reduced salaries may search for political alternatives. The opposition is getting ready for a possible early general election. For the opposition, Tsipras gets the biggest share of the blame: he is seen as a leader who backtracked on his promises, let society down, made compromises with Brussels, put the country under a new stricter - but ineffective so far - bailout program. From a young promising clean politician, he has now become the target for dishonesty and populism.”
Dramatic loss of confidence
The huge problems Greece is facing are the cause of Tsipras' diminishing popularity, El País comments:
“The dramatic loss of support which, according to the polls, Alexis Tsipras's government is experiencing and the very real possibility of early elections testify on the one hand to the frustration of the Greeks at the government's failure to honour the unrealistic promises that were made during the election campaign. On the other hand they are due to the lack of quick and easy solutions to complex problems which require dialogue rather than defiant proposals. … But more than difficulties with economic policy - something which unfortunately the Greeks are used to - Syriza is suffering from its failure to manage the refugee crisis and a controversy over a television law the constitutionality of which is questionable. [after a TV license auction the number of private channels went down from eight to four]”