Alexis Tsipras in Wonderland

Originally published in on September 25, 2017

Following SYRIZA’s expected victory in the 2015 elections, great concern among Greek observers has arisen because of his election promises. The country had begun to breathe and rest on its feet under the rule of former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Thus, Alexis Tsipras’ imaginative promises were based on the prospect of Greece leaving the Eurozone and eventually Europe, the claim for warfare compensation by the German government as well as the economic and political opening to countries that have the same ideology as SYRIZA , believing that it will force the European Union to erase the huge Greek debt. However, after Tsipras’s involvement in economic negotiations with the countries of the Union and the International Monetary Fund, it turned out that all these promises were nothing but dreams and imaginations, and reality was tougher than the Greek Prime Minister expected. Nevertheless, Alexis Tsipras has restored international relations with states and international players in a way that raises many questions.

Iran, or as it is called by the West and the Middle East “the source of evil”, was and still is considered pariah along with North Korea. Iran signed an agreement to end its nuclear program in the summer of 2015. Greece was one of the first countries to start economic co-operation with it. Tsipras and his government signed oil and gas contracts and rushed to veto the expansion of Western sanctions in order to reopen Saderat Iran in Athens. Iran’s bad reputation for support for terrorist militias such as Hezbollah and Iraqi sectarian militias, its strong support for the dictatorial Assad regime and its bad relations with the Gulf states did not prevent Tsipras from approaching and work with it.

The Kurdistan-Iraq region announced about a month ago the date of holding a referendum on September 25th to secede from the central government of Baghdad. This risky step for the Middle East has been rejected by most countries in the world, including the United States, which clearly announced a few days ago that they are strongly opposed to this referendum and will follow tough political and economic steps, including the cessation of economic support of the region if it proceeds to this decision.

However, the Tsipras government had a different view from most of the countries in the world. His government announced the upgrading of the Greek diplomatic delegation to the region in a consular office, which is clearly a support for the referendum. What Alexis Tsipras has overlooked is that Iran, with which he seeks close ties, strongly opposes the Kurdish referendum. Turkey, on the other hand, sees it as a direct threat to Turkish national security. This choice of the Greek government was made emotionally because of the positions of the SYRIZA party that supports the Kurds, ignoring the consequences it may have for Greece. Turkey is in a position at any time to order its coastguard to allow the influx of refugees to the Greek coast. Can Alexis Tsipras bear the tens of thousands of newcomers?

It was not surprising that the Greek Prime Minister attended the funeral of Fidel Castro. The spiritual relations between SYRIZA and the ideology of communism, of which Castro is one of his “heroes”, are indistinguishable. It was, however, unpleasantly surprising the Tsipras government contact with the Venezuelan government over the last few months which has been facing a huge popular reaction to the point where Western countries are pushing it to resign satisfying the feeling of the Venezuelan people. This move by the Greek government may be perceived by the Venezuelans as provocative against them. Does Greece need more pressure and new enemies? Another notable event is the participation of 13 Greek companies in the economic forum organized by Assad’s criminal regime despite the sanctions and the economic blockade of the European countries and the US against it. It’s like Alexis Tsipras is trying to provoke all these countries even more!

Alice in Wonderland said: “When all roads are dark, all roads are the same.” So Mr. Tsipras closes his eyes and walks in the dark, dragging along with him a people financially afflicted and burdened with debt. As a Greek citizen I hope we will not find ourselves in one of his adventures in the darkness of the abyss.