Are the Greeks bored by Tsipras?
By Alberto Mingardi
A few weeks ago, Alexis Tsipras called a new election in Greece, appealing to voters for a new leadership mandate. Most of the mainstream press praised this move of Tsipras, who rapidly moved from the persona of wanna-be communist revolutionary to the image of a “man we can do business with”: a “moderate” left-winger who can ensure Greece stays in Europe and within the Eurozone.
Now The Wall Street Journal reports that the polls signal a very small lead (between 1% and 3%, which is an elegant way to say pollsters don’t have a clue) for Tsipras’s Syriza over New Democracy, the right-of-center party closely associated with the pre-Tsipras management of the Greek crisis.
The good news, for Tsipras–but also for Greece’s creditors–is that “Popular Unity,” the group formed by those who deserted Syriza “on the left,” is credited with 3-5% of the votes. Not an irrelevant number, particularly because this will be their first act with the new brand, but still not a major drain for Syriza.
A good percentage of Greeks polled say they are still uncertain, or they won’t vote.
The most likely outcome, were the polls to be confirmed by the actual vote, is a grand coalition. Will other, more moderate coalition members accept Mr Tsipras’s leadership? Will he be interested in supporting a cabinet he doesn’t lead? We’ll see. Elections are set for September 20.