(photo: The new Greek government)
Alexis Tsipras received a generous lead in the recently concluded Greek elections, to the amazement of both observers and pollsters. It was apparent that the election was won on the basis of feelings and not on facts. The negative view of the previous Tsipras government's failure in managing the economy was ignored by voters.
Voters found common ground with Tsipras' strategy of showing himself as a kind of new force who fought off an aggressive European Union and also secured a kind of honorable deal. His slogans were effective in inspiring faith among economic decline and capital controls imposition. Tsipras also signed an extremely hard Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under his premiership.
The Syriza voters swallowed the emotions dished out by Tsipras that as Prime Minister, he will fight corruption. However, all evidence so far points otherwise. His previous government saw substituting judges with union representatives in the panels set up to investigate allegations of corruption among civil servants. He also permitted those convicted of bribery allegations to return to posts since conviction. Strategic voting mixed with huge voter apathy due to changes in recent electoral law assisted this outcome.
When compared to the position of Greece in August, the present parliament appears to be stable. The party is now effectively under the control of Tsipras and there is no existence of the leftist members of Syriza. The leftists have no parliamentary representation. Tsipras is now immune from the blame of having won the election on false pretenses, as MoU terms were announced quite publicly.
Politics, however, may spoil his party. The opposition parties, Potami, PASOK and ND are now sitting in opposition and could be rigid in their stand against a renewed Tsipras. A hard line can be taken by the opposition and Greece may undergo a massive transformation. The present government may require to insert total reforms and administer the nation at a time of reduced liquidity and the ballooning problem of migrants. The big decisions concerning Non-Performing Loans (NPAs) and bank recapitalization must be taken later in the future.
Trouble will rear its head up if the government lacks administrative and managerial competence. Early reports indicate that there will be few variations to important ministerial posts. Tsipras, most of all, will need a strong finance minister who could win back the trust of creditors. One thing is clear: the new Syriza government will quickly be tested.