June 2016 Political Theses of SYRIZA’s Central Committee for the Second Congress held on October 13-16. (Hyperlinks added by this blog.)
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 →
Yanis Varoufakis’ reply to Tariq Ali, Stathis Kouvelakis, Vicente Navarro, and Stefano Fassina on DiEM25’s plan for resisting within the European Union.
Preface: This article (published in edited form in Jacobin, Neues Deutschland, Il Manifesto, Mediapart and elsewhere) addresses left-wing critics of DiEM25 claiming that DiEM25 is pursuing the wrong objective (to democratise the EU) by means of a faulty strategy (focusing at the European rather than at the national level). This response, while addressed to left-wing supporters of Lexit (the strategy of calling for referenda in favour of leaving the EU, Brexit style), is pertinent also as questions raised often within the other political traditions that DiEM25 seeks to unite in the struggle to democratise Europe; i.e. authentic liberals, ecologists, feminists, members of pirate parties, activists unwilling to be embedded in existing parties, progressive conservatives even.
In the space of 13 months, two referenda shook up not only the European Union (EU) but also Europe’s Left: the Greek OXI in July 2015 and Brexit in June 2016. Exasperated by the EU’s mixture of authoritarianism and economic failure, a segment of Europe’s Left is now calling for a “break with the EU”, a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit. DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects the Lexit logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe. Continue reading →
Britain’s referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union or leave ended in a British exit (Brexit) by a slim margin, 51% to 48.1%, a difference of roughly 1.3 million votes out of some 33.5 million votes cast.
The result was a major blow to the country’s political establishments — Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron campaigned hard for Remain and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for Remain as well albeit half-assedly.
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?”
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.
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.