Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continued his late summer “political offensive” from another island on Friday, this time from the central Cyclades isle of Syros, speaking on the occasion of the resumption of work at a local shipyards recently acquired by a US-based and Greek-American controlled company.
In comments during an appearance with the island’s mayor, Tsipras said the recent end of the third (and last) bailout extended by institutional creditors to the country will mark a return of (obligatory) collective bargaining agreements and an increase in the minimum monthly wage scale.
Tsipras’ travel to Syros comes days after his controversial address from the iconic isle of Ithaca, whose harbor he used a backdrop to announce – via a nationally broadcast address – the end of the memorandum era, replete with references to Homer’s Odyssey – whose protagonist, Ulysses (Odysseus), takes 10 torturous years to return to his island kingdom – as well as a well-known poem, “Ithaka”, by poet Constantine Cavafy.
“The memorandums had a clear goal: to shrink labor costs. That’s why now, with the end of the memorandums, marks the return of rights; a return of collective bargaining agreements, a hike in the minimum wage,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tsipras’ main political rival, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, spoke from another island, Zakynthos, on the opposite side of Greece.
“Mr. Tsipras is the one that has already bound the country into an unofficial fourth memorandum, as he signed a third unnecessary memorandum, which has cost Greece more than 100 billion euros,” he said from the Ionian island.