Monday, May 20, 2019

Alexis Tsipras: ‘We need more reforms’

by Tony Barber & Kerin Hope

Financial Times

May 20, 2019

Alexis Tsipras wears a relaxed, confident, almost philosophical smile as he contemplates the prospect of Greece’s parliamentary elections, due to be held by October 20 at the latest.

Since early 2016 every opinion poll has placed Syriza, the party he leads, in second place behind the centre-right New Democracy opposition. Many polls have Syriza trailing by 10 percentage points — a gap that implies a clear-cut defeat for the prime minister and his leftist party. But Tsipras, who will turn 45 in July, is nothing if not resilient and forward-looking.

“I’m not thinking about losing the election, I’m thinking about how to win the election,” he says in an interview in the Maximos Mansion, the official seat of Greek prime ministers in Athens.

“There is a saying: if the soldier goes off to battle in order to lose, it’s better not to go to the fight . . . I wasn’t born to be prime minister. I’m not from a political family. I became the youngest prime minister in Greek history, at the age of 40.

“Life is life. In life you have to fight. This is the only thing. But the final decision is the decision of the people — it’s not ours.”


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