We have a duty towards Europe. We must make the decision to join the battle against ISIS. Europe, the West must decide to fight ISIS, this new genre of fascism. We have no other way to get rid of them. War is the worst of the cases, but there is nothing worse than terrorism either. We have a responsibility towards our children. The approach “let’s not intervene” is too easy. I think that, as Europeans, we must have reacted much earlier and in a stronger way to this crime against humanity.
“What Mr Tsipras really wants is for him to govern and for us to talk. Does he really want to talk about the urgent needs and problems of Greece? We are all open to this debate. But, we are not willing to join a dialogue, which will, in fact, be a cover in the government’s effort to establish their regime”.
This is what Stavros Theodorakis stated, replying to a volunteer’s question “How does To Potami react to Mr Tsipras’ challenge for national coordination?”. Mr Theodorakis was also asked to comment on a potential cooperation with PASOK, stating that “The message sent by PASOK is quite blurry. At times, it is progressive. At times, it is conservative. Our movement was created, because we were confronting a dangerous old system and we had to deal with another political party, namely SYRIZA, which also wanted to look like the old political system. To Potami was created, because we wanted to handle the way in which political parties were intervening in the state. New Democracy and PASOK never really dealt with these problems, when they were in power. So, we are not willing to cooperate with the political party mechanisms, which are to blame for many of the past’s mistakes”. This is what Stavros Theodorakis pointed out, during a live web streaming, an open debate with the volunteers of the Movement. Asked to comment on the political “identity” of the Movement, the leader of To Potami insisted that “To Potami is the nest of the progressive people of this country. SYRIZA is the conservative force. A party that defends statism cannot be a progressive force. We, on the other hand, we defend the major reforms that the country needs. Mr Theodorakis also urged all progressive forces of the country to attend its Convention saying “I hope that, by the time that the Convention will take place, more young people will have joined To Potami. New liberal forces. All those people that believed, for example, that New Democracy could be the answer and the solution, but, it really is not. These progressive liberals of New Democracy, they should join To Potami. Along with the progressive centre-left forces. Those people who believed that SYRIZA would be the solution and now regret this and feel betrayed. These people, they should also join To Potami”.
Answering the volunteers’ questions, Mr Theodorakis also replied to the following questions:
Asked to comment on the way that To Potami acted, during the first months of governance of SYRIZA, Mr Theodorakis said:
We never joined SYRIZA or ANEL. Besides, this is a matter of aesthetics too. We were there in the effort to save the country and we managed to do this, to the extent when this was in our hands. From this point on, Mr Tsipras has brought a Memorandum, which is signed by him. This Memorandum is his decision. If he had reached an agreement much earlier, as we had asked him to, the country would have avoided many of the measures that have been taken lately. We were never with Mr Tsipras. We were just there, so that the country would be saved. The country was saved, SYRIZA took over its governance, and we are now the opposition. We will vote for the positive measures, the ones that we believe that can help the country and we will oppose to their decisions that will be the product of obstructionism or compromise.
Asked to comment on Mr Tsipras’ call on national “coordination”:
Mr Tsipras’ proposal is inconsistent, as he has never actually really talked about cooperation. Whenever he had the chance to cooperate, he did not. On one hand, the government makes decisions, on a daily basis, on education and, on the other hand, it calls us to talk about the “future’s education”. We do not care about the “future’s education”. We care about the present. If you are willing to talk, you must be willing to talk about the present. We don’t care about how the Constitution will change, after two four-years terms. We want to change the elections law.
Asked to comment on the political “identity” of Potami:
There are progressive people both in centre-left and centre-right. We are the major alliance of progressive forces. You can find people in Potami that belong to the centre-right and the centre-left. Our movement is a movement of political clarity. To Potami is a modern political party that defends the progressive policy. We are politically liberal, but when it comes to social policy issues, we are left. But, I don’t really care about labels. What really matters right now in this country is to promote progressive solutions, solutions that clash with the past, with the disorders of the Greek society. If you believe in these solutions, then pay extra attention to Potami. This is where you actually belong.
Asked to comment on the action of ISIS terrorists:
We have two main duties. On one hand, Greeks must feel secure. This is a duty of ours. They should feel secure, knowing that port authorities actually control who enters the Greek territory. They have the right to know that security institutions in the country work. Since SYRIZA took over the power in the country, the sense of security has been hurt. Some SYRIZA ministers’ behavior is just unacceptable. On the other hand, we have a duty towards Europe. We must make the decision to join the battle against ISIS. Europe, the West must decide to fight ISIS, this new genre of fascism. We have no other way to get rid of them. War is the worst of the cases, but there is nothing worse than terrorism either. We have a responsibility towards our children. The approach “let’s not intervene” is too easy. I think that, as Europeans, we must have reacted much earlier and in a stronger way to this crime against humanity. It is not just the people that lost their lives in Paris. It is also what populations go through in the places where ISIS imposes itself. Women getting raped, children getting recruited. This is the brutality that Europe must defeat. This will not be achieved, unless Europe launches organized action against ISIS.
Asked to comment on the Movement’s Convention:
Our political party will be refreshed before the Convention will be held. This is the reason why we have the pre-convention dialogue. This is what a lively political party means. In the Convention, we must officialise our governmental proposal in the Greek society. To Potami has won the challenge of the new organizational scheme. We are here to change the country, we are here to improve our children’s life, we are here to tackle unemployment. We have already started the major effort to politically enlarge to Potami. To Potami needs to be enlarged. It cannot stay the same. This is why we will give some time to the progressive forces of the country to realize where they belong, where their nest is.
Photo credit: Theodore Manolopoulos