Reforms Amid Austerity: SYRIZA’s Self-Assessment


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

Europe’s Left after Brexit

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.[1] 

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”,[2] a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit.[3] DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects the Lexit logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe. 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