Syriza’s Left Platform breaks away from main opposition party in Greece

Syriza’s Left Platform breaks away from main opposition party in Greece

A group of left-wing dissidents within Syriza, the main opposition party in Greece, declared on Friday that they are quitting the party and creating a new political entity. The group, known as Left Platform, blamed the new leader of Syriza, Stefanos Kasselakis, for abandoning the party’s core left-wing values and adopting “Trumpian practices” and “right-wing populism”.

The breakaway comes after a series of poor election outcomes for Syriza, which lost its governing power in 2019 and failed to compete with the ruling conservative New Democracy party in the recent parliamentary elections. Syriza’s share of the vote fell from 31 percent in 2019 to 20 percent in 2023, while New Democracy won a landslide victory with 40 percent of the vote.

The Left Platform consists of prominent members of Syriza, such as former speaker of Parliament Nikos Voutsis, former secretary Panos Skourletis, and former finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos. They allege that Kasselakis, a 35-year-old businessman with no previous political experience, has been pursuing a plan to cut off the party from its left-wing roots and vie for a position in the political center.

They also denounce Kasselakis for his lack of connection to the left or politics, his unclear ideas about the country’s history, politics, Europe, and geopolitics, and his exclusion of the party’s collective forces from the decision-making process. They say that Kasselakis has been leading a coordinated effort to split up the party and oust its key members.

The Left Platform says that it will form a new party to represent the radical and renewing left in Greece, and to provide a credible alternative to the neoliberal policies of New Democracy. They say that they will keep fighting for social justice, democracy, human rights, and ecological transformation, and to resist the rise of fascism and nationalism.

The split of the Left Platform is a major setback for Syriza, which was once praised as a model for the European left and a leader of the anti-austerity movement. Syriza came to power in 2015, promising to end the harsh bailout programs imposed by the creditors and to restore dignity and sovereignty to the Greek people. However, Syriza soon faced a harsh reality check, as it was forced to agree to a third bailout deal and implement more austerity measures, alienating many of its supporters and sparking internal dissent.

The departure of the Left Platform also raises questions about the future of the left-wing opposition in Greece, as well as the political landscape of the country. With Syriza in disarray and other left-wing parties, such as MeRA25, failing to gain enough support, the left-wing bloc faces the risk of fragmentation and marginalization. Meanwhile, New Democracy enjoys a comfortable majority and a strong mandate to pursue its agenda, while the far-right Golden Dawn remains the third-largest party in the parliament…