Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sparked outrage from the opposition when he called those who criticize the “family basket” supposedly lowering food prices “caviar leftists” and “champagne socialists.”
During his visit to Achaia, Peloponnese, on Tuesday, Mitsotakis defended in his speech the “family basket” stating that she is “already lowering food prices” in supermarkets.
He said of critics that the basket does not concern “caviar leftists, as they say in France, and champagne socialists, as they say in Germany.” He added that those who reject the basket “let them take their expensive bucket and go play somewhere else.”
The reaction of the left
The reaction of the leftist opposition parties was immediate, with the main opposition party SYRIZA commenting on the situation: “Prime Minister of Poverty provokes Greek society. Mr. Mitsotakis continues to eat the cake (an allusion to the statement of Marie Antoinette. Editor’s note), bearing the main responsibility for the impoverishment of the Greek people. He has no idea what is going on in society and has never been interested in it. He just points the finger at those who are unhappy and reacts to his wretched policies.”
SYRIZA added that the prime minister is “pathetic”. Party leader and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras urged Mitsotakis to “drop the wisecracks because they won’t lower the price of electricity or supermarkets or protect against eviction from main housing.”
Communist KKE leader Dimitris Koutsumpas stressed that “nonsense is not what is needed now.” “Instead of ridiculing anyone who questions his family basket and his general anti-popular policies, Mr. Mitsotakis should take action against rising prices, raise wages and pensions, stop early home evictions and auctions, open LARCO, modernize him, in a single regime, with all employees who have full rights. Stop this crime against the country’s economy, against the national property, against the workers.”
Consumer basket survey
Aside from the political backlash, most Greek consumers also seem to be dissatisfied with the effectiveness of the “family basket”. In the latest survey on the subject, commissioned by ALCO for Alpha TV,
- only 28% of respondents said they use the shopping cart many times.
- 24% answered “several times”, and 44% – “do not use it at all”.
- 28% is also the percentage of those who believe that the basket covers the basic needs of the family. 49% answered “no”.
When asked if the “family basket” achieves its goal, only 4% answered “yes”, and 35% answered “not at all”. Overall, 32% answered “very” and 52% answered “not at all” or “a little”.
The survey was submitted on November 21, 2022.
“la gauche caviar (“left caviar”). In the sense of “left (who eat) caviar”, bourgeois socialists. This is a specific type of two-faced politicians who, for example, advocate migrants, but in no case want to invite them to live in their luxurious homes, a term coined in the 1980s in reference to longtime President François Mitterrand and some of his Socialist Party ministers.
This concept is generally similar to the English Champagne socialist, the American Limousine liberal or latte liberal, the German Salonkommunist, the Dutch salonsocialist, the Italian Radical chic and others.