- Barbara Kužnik
The triumph of the Greek Harry Potter
This spot from Syriza made me think about many things. »Go get a haircut, a bath and some perfume and then come back...take this as a friendly advice for your future career,« is the sentence that young job-hunters probably don't really hear, but rather feel quite often. Now they can easily change everything. A message that did persuade young people to participate in these historical elections in Greece on the 25th of January.
And to vote for Syriza.
We all agree that in Greece a particular revolutionary spirit is spreading. A new wave, which uses all sorts of emotional parallels and plays with music in the background of the strong political rhetoric. Such as a paraphrase of Leonard Cohen's song »First we take Manhattan« meaning, first we take Athens, then we'll take Berlin.
Head of the Syriza, a political wonder boy, that never wears a tie, speaks the language of the people and named his son, allegedly, after Ernesto Che Guevara.
This is him - Alexis Tsipras. The 40-years old engineer, who has been politically active since his school days and later became the leader of a radical student organization, today has two sons and since two decades the same woman on his side. They met at school and became members of the Communist Youth of Greece. Now they might become the first unmarried couple leading Greece. Some consider this as a big change for a socially conservative country.
However, Tsipras has already won attention of the international audience last year. A group of internationally renowned intellectuals, among them also the Slovene controversial philosopher Slavoj Zizek, journalist and writer Tariq Ali and American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Bulter supported Tsipras candidacy for the presidency of the European Commission. For them Greece was an example of a huge neoliberal experiment which has led to a well-documented humanitarian crisis, Tsipras could be the one who could stop neoliberalism and authoritarianism.
One of his most known statements is: »Austerity is not part of the European treaties; democracy and the principle of popular sovereignty are. «
He is pretty sure, he can really make a change. To raise a minimum wage, provide food and electricity for all and to create 300,000 new jobs. He believes that the situation in Greece can be blamed on "international capital" and the "false Protestant principles of Angela Merkel."
In one of his latest published writings, he claims, that »Europe could not come out of the crisis without a policy change, and the victory of SYRIZA would strengthen the forces of change. Because the dead end in Greece is the dead end of today's Europe.«
Tsipras writes about Syriza as of a voice of reason, he compares its victory to the alarm clock which will lift Europe from its sleepwalking.
Is that so? Are we all going to weak up on Monday in a totally different word?
I would like him to be Harry Potter, but unfortunately he got the name by giving promises that cannot come true.
But I am looking forward to seeing him win. His talent has already been proven. He is a synonym for hope and for a positive change, yet he will have to find the balance between austerity measures and his plans on a large scale.
The hostile rhetoric about »foreign loan sharks", who are making Greek people poor and are selling-out the country, cannot be very helpful, when he will have to negotiate with the European Union. Repeating, that Greece is not a German colony, brings him in Brussels for sure no additional points.
How ordinary Germans actually see Tsipras in these days?
I talked to Daphne, a communications expert, who was born in Germany to Greek parents and now lives and works in Brussels. She is Tsipras generation, a German with a Greek heart, which thinks Europe will not change after Tsipras win, but it would be necessary for Greece to take a step further.
However, the question remains, is He the one?