The results of the July 7 elections showed that SYRIZA had not only held its ground but remained a great force for democracy and progress in the country, with the emphatic support of a large section of the Greek people, main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday.
"Last Sunday there was an investment by democratic and progressive Greece in SYRIZA", he said, addressing a meeting of the party's Central Committee in a central Athens hotel. Noting that 1.8 million voters had "made a very conscious choice" to place their trust in SYRIZA, he called for its evolution into a major progressive party "that has room for everyone: leftists, radicals, leftist socialists, democratic communists, social democrats, greens but also citizens from the democratic centre".
While New Democracy had indisputably prevailed in the elections, Tsipras said, it had not managed to inflict a "strategic defeat" on SYRIZA. "The people have given us the power...to not only hamper but also prevent ND's anti-popular plans", he added.
At the start of his speech, the main opposition leader expressed SYRIZA's support for the families of the victims of the deadly storm in Chalkidiki, saying the party will do everything in its power to help heal their hurts and restore the damage. He also sent a message about the need to take action against climate change, noting that the "strong of the world continue to close their eyes to it in the name of profit".
Commenting on the new government formed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Tsipras criticised the presence of key ministers from the government of Antonis Samaras, as well as the fact that only five of the 51 ministers were women and the placing of "people of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises and big business groups in key positions".
He also disagreed with the transfer of the migration policy and correctional system portfolios to the citizen protection ministry, while noting that the prime minister's decision to personally take charge of the intelligence service, public broadcaster ERT and the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) "was unprecedented in the years after the junta."
Tsipras spoke about the need to reshape SYRIZA, making changes that will "restart" the party from scratch while keeping and enriching its values, ideals and vision. He pointed out that, even though it had a very large number of voters, its registered members accounted for barely 2 pct of the electorate.
He called for the start of a "bold" discussion that will reach decisions in early September, noting that the party's flags must "not only be red but also green, the colour of the environment, which is the future of the Left".