Alexis Tsipras did a live Q+A with The Guardian last week in English. Some Q+A below:
Are you going to take that attack to the rich? And, if not, why not?
We don’t just care about the poor, we are a party of the poor. Not only because half of Greece has been pauperised by the imposed austerity measures, but because we are stronger in the poorest neighbourhoods and this is our natural base; our first priority will be measures to help the poorest stand up on their own two feet. SYRIZA is the only party in Europe right now, in a position to be elected in government, that has in its program the immediate goal of large-scale redistribution of income from the rich to the poor.
The Left has often be accused by politicians like German Finance minister Schauble that it is representing the past and that its ideas are irrelevant to today’s Europe. How do you respond to that?
The political elite of Europe have led Europe to a dead-end. These are the people responsible for turning Europe back to the times of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables—they are the past. We are the future of hope and change.
Since the most significant portion of the Greek debt is now owned by the public sector, and not by the private sector as was the case in 2009, one could say that the situation is more manageable for the EU, which could afford to kick Greece out of the Euro, if we aren’t the ‘good students’ anymore. Is SYRIZA prepared for such an eventuality ?
The political change in Greece will set an example for all of Europe. The renegotiation of the new Left Greek government won’t be done only on behalf of the Greek people, but of the entire European periphery. This will create a new dynamic in the continent. The other governments of the European south will be forced by their citizens to take a similar stance in support of the welfare state and social cohesion, and they will have to align with the Greek government.
A compilation of the questions and answers is presented here