Tsipras: Austerity will send us ‘directly to the hell’

It was somewhat of a coup for Christiane Amanpour to get an interview in English with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

With new elections scheduled in Greece for June 17 and with the radical left SYRIZA leading and/or tied with the center-right New Democracy for first place, Tsipras has become the face of Greece’s anti-austerity front.

Even in English, you can understand how his brazen charm and direct message — he has refused to accept the harsh budget cuts demanded in exchange for Greece’s bailout — has made him one of the most popular politician in Greece.

But I don’t think he did his cause any favors here — it’s mostly his limited command of English, I suppose, but he came across more as a Greek communist Balki Bartokomous* than as a mature leader ready to reassure the European Central Bank, the European Commission, Angel Merkel, Christine Lagarde or, frankly, even the Greek people.

*the outrageous southeastern European character from the 1980s U.S. television series Perfect Strangers

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