Reforms Amid Austerity: SYRIZA’s Self-Assessment

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June 2016 Political Theses of SYRIZA’s Central Committee for the Second Congress held on October 13-16. (Hyperlinks added by this blog.)

A. REVIEW

1. SYRIZA’s Victorious Advance – Unification at the First Congress, Preparation to Assume Responsibility for Government

The starting point of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) great advance dates back to the late 1980s, when the first signs of a general political crisis and the crisis of the bourgeois party system appeared. This happened when the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK) started being fully controlled by the state, placing the state’s imperatives and rationale, as well as the particular vested interests it was involved with, at the core of its existence, gradually acceding to the rising neoliberalism and abandoning the political representation of those afflicted by the inequalities perpetually produced by capitalism. New Democracy (ND) emerged as the pure champion of neoliberalism and, thanks to PASOK’s shift and the now apparent corruption, managed to have two short, but equally scandalous, terms in government. Continue reading

4 Takeaways from SYRIZA’s Second Congress

By Dimitris Rapidis. First published by Blog Active.eu. Hyperlinks added by this blog.

Between October 13-16, the governing Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party held its second congress in Athens. There were many debates and fruitful discussions but above all else the congress addressed some major issues that define the party’s new vision and political scope.

epa04833806 (FILE) A file picture dated 10 February 2015 shows then Greek Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos speaking during a parliament session in Athens, Greece. According to widespread news reports, Tsakalotos was on 06 July 2015 named successor of Yanis Varoufakis as Greek Finance Minister. EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI

1. Euclid Tsakalotos Comes in First in the Central Committee Ballot

The Greek Minister of Finance achieved to get the first place among the contenders for the party’s Central Committee. This is an historic achievement, considering also that he is the one managing negotiations with the creditors and implementing the bailout program. Leading one of the influential political trends in SYRIZA, the Group of 53+, mostly critical to the bailout deal, Tsakalotos combines efficiency in negotiations — considering the balances of power with and among the creditors — and a constant effort to open the debate over the political vision of the party and the Left in Greece and Europe. While he is not clamoring for any leading position in the party nor is he promoting himself, Tsakalotos turns out to be extremely popular in the party. He can definitely build on that, empowering his position abroad and building the bridge connecting policy-making and daily management of policy consequences. Continue reading

The Real Problem with Jill Stein and the Green Party

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By Scott Jay. First published by Libcom.

As we approach November, the attacks on Jill Stein will only increase from Hillary Clinton’s most enthusiastic supporters. These people are horrified by the possibility – however unlikely – that Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States, but they do not seem to be so horrified at the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming President. They will largely be aware of Clinton’s support for the war in Iraq, her role as an architect of various brutal interventions as the Secretary of State in the Obama administration, her support for her husband’s policies of expanding mass incarceration, and her support for mass deportations. Yes, they will be aware of all of these. But they can put it all aside.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is so bad because he rubs it in your face. That is abominable. Supporting Clinton, on the other hand, gives liberals a nice warm feeling. Sure, she has problems, they will say, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Then, in the next breath, they will declare that Jill Stein is the worst person who has ever walked this planet, because her very existence challenges the narrative of nice, warm-feeling liberalism in support of Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

SYRIZA Completes Mission Impossible, Grows Economy Despite Troika’s Third Memorandum

Below is a translated transcript of the interview above interview:

Stamatis Giannisis, Euronews: “Prime minister, the data Eurostat published on the performance of the Greek economy are better than anticipated, but you still have a long and arduous way ahead. How do you evaluate these results?”

Alexis Tsipras: “Greece’s fiscal policy performance has exceeded any expectation in 2015, and don’t forget how difficult this year was. We have had two general elections, one referendum, closed banks and also an unprecedented refugee crisis that fell almost entirely upon Greece’s shoulders. Continue reading

SYRIZA on Popular Unity’s Split and the Tasks Facing the Greek Left

To all member and observer parties of the European Left

To all fraternal and friendly left and progressive parties

Dear comrades and friends,

In 20 August, the Prime Minister of Greece, comrade Alexis Tsipras, announced in an address to the nation that he resigns and that he will ask the President of the Republic to initiate the constitutional process for an extra-ordinary election (possibly to be held in 20 September). On the same day, comrade Tsipras visited the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Pavlopoulos and officially filed his resignation.

The day after, 25 MPs of the Parliamentary Group of SYRIZA (most of them coming from the “Left Platform of SYRIZA”) officially declared that they form a new Parliamentary group and a new party under the title of “Popular Unity”, led by Panagiotis Lafazanis, former Minister of Productive Reconstruction. Another 4 MPs of SYRIZA declared their independence the same day.

PopularUnity Continue reading

Is Tsipras a Traitor for Refusing the Dra(ch)ma of Grexit?

The Greek government led by the radical left coalition, SYRIZA, has voted to accept what amounts to a third memorandum, or as former finance minister rightfully called it, “a new Versailles Treaty.” The final tally in the Greek parliament was: 229 yes, 64 no, 6 abstentions, 1 absent; of the 64 no votes, 38 of them came from SYRIZA (which has a total of 149 seats in parliament).

The most common reaction to this defeat on the English-speaking left internationally has been to label SYRIZA’s leader and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras a traitor. Or a dupe, a fool, a moron, a sellout, a coward, a utopian — you get the idea.

Continue reading