By David Sadler, Globalecho,
On the Athens Riviera, Yannis Lappas ran a frozen yogurt shop until 2016. Opened two years earlier, it was always full. But the introduction, in June 2015, of capital controls limiting withdrawals from banks to deal with the flight of capital generated by the fear of a forced exit of Greece from the euro zone, changed the situation. . “At the time, the left-wing Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, was leading the country, and because of the impossible showdown with Brussels, the Greeks found themselves in a situation of extreme vulnerability, they were afraid and no longer consumed . I had to close my store and I blame him, obviously”notes the 50-year-old, who has converted to real estate, a sector that is soaring due in particular to foreign investors.
For a large part of the Greeks, the former left-wing prime minister (Syriza) Alexis Tsipras remains associated with the ” adventures “ of 2015, to the economic crisis and the arrival of almost a million refugees on the Greek islands. For voters on the left, he is also the one who betrayed his campaign promises and gave in to the country’s creditors (European Central Bank, European Union, International Monetary Fund) by imposing harsh austerity measures. But in the 2019 elections, Alexis Tsipras achieved a more honorable result and Greek voters therefore also criticized him for leading an unconvincing opposition for the past four years and seem to have been convinced by the campaign of outgoing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who promised the “stability” economy and geopolitics of the country.
“The conservative New Democracy party only gains two points compared to the 2019 elections. The May 21 legislative elections above all revealed the collapse of Syriza, which failed to convince with its idea of a coalition government”, says Maria Karaklioumi, political analyst for the polling company RASS. In Greece, coalition governments are not the norm and during the crisis they have often been short-lived, unable to cope with the challenges of the economic downturn.
“Syriza’s campaign was badly conducted”
According to Nikos Marantzidis, professor of political science at the University of Macedonia, “Syriza’s campaign was badly conducted and favored the conservative party”. The statement by Giorgos Katrougalos, former Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Tsipras government (2015-2019), on the necessary increase in social security contributions for the self-employed had the effect of a bomb. According to polls, 54% of this professional category voted for New Democracy, whereas in previous polls their votes were more divided.