Conservative New Democracy party leader Evangelos Meimarakis was “liberal” in his disparagement of his main rival Alexis Tsipras on Monday evening, speaking during a late-night current affairs program, and days after a smattering of opinion polls have him catching up with radical leftist or even enjoying a very slim lead.
Highlights of Meimarakis’ comments – made on the program “Enikos” – included:
— Citizens compare the work of Tsipras to a “little pink cloud”
— Constitutional reforms – a leitmotif of Greek campaign pledges for two decades – will commence immediately, as will the privatization program
— “If ND is the first-past-the-poll party on Sept. 20 it is obliged to turn to the second party (SYRIZA), given that they were the ones in government over the recent period; they were the ones who negotiated (the memorandum) ; we don’t know the (memorandum) framework as much as we should, the final negotiation”
— Tsipras’ call for snap elections a major blunder
— Tsipas was given a mandate by 251 MPs to go and negotiate with European partners, “yet he was thinking of elections at the same as he was asking for the opposition’s support”.
— The referendum was useless and divisive, and the cause behind closed banks. “The country has changed prime ministers seven times in the last six years”!
— Tsipras is blinded by arrogance.
— Immediate abolition of the …23 percent VAT tax slapped by leftist SYRIZA on the private education sector, which he explained by saying that “SYRIZA hates anything that is in the private sector”.
— Constitutional revision to finally allow for non-state, non-profit universities in the country, similar to the institutions found practically …everywhere in the developed world.
Finally, he was utterly contemptuous over the seven-month SYRIZA government’s management, or mismanagement, of the migrant crisis that exploded on the eastern Aegean weeks after the radical leftists took power in Athens.
“Greece must not broadcast a message that, ‘hey lads, come here, it’s nice’,” he stressed in the distinctive streetwise language that is his trademark, a characteristic that is often parodied by detractors and admirers alike.