[Debate] Notes taken at meeting - Greece: At what price membership of Europe?
m_redmond at btinternet.com
m_redmond at btinternet.com
Tue Jun 5 15:54:31 BST 2012
My guess is that the commonality between Syriza voters and Syriza candidates/ participating parties is the trend towards autonomous organising in popular resistance. Syriza possibly seemed less remote, more accessible to voters.
What would have been interesting for a London audience would be to have Syriza and the Communist Party on the platformdiscussing their differences but would the Communist Party have participated even if invited?
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From: Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com>
To: Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information and analyses of interest to the independent left in South and Southern Africa <debate-list at fahamu.org>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 15:02
Subject: Re: [Debate] Notes taken at meeting - Greece: At what price membership of Europe?
Very helpful. What about the sociology of SYRIZA's participating
party members? The same as that of SYRIZA voters?
On Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM, m_redmond at btinternet.com
<m_redmond at btinternet.com> wrote:
> Notes taken at Café Diplo on Monday 28th May. Greece: At what price
> membership of Europe? with Stathis Kouvelakis.:
> Stathis Kouvelakis stood in the Greek election as a Syriza candidate:
> Described Syriza as a non-traditional, social mobilising movement leaning
> towards autonomous organisation. Syriza proposed a broad left united front
> to contest the elections and currently includes 3 Maoists and a few Trots.
> The radical left were expected to garner a large percentage of the vote in
> the election but went far beyond that through a galvanised campaign where
> they were neck-and-neck with the Conservative Right.
> Sociology of the Syriza vote: Vote was concentrated in large urban areas,
> amongst the core active population of 35 - 55 years of age and from the
> working and lower middle classes. Poorest Syriza results were in rural areas
> and amongst older people.
> Political logic: PASOK votes moved to the left. PASOK had the lowest
> percentage of the vote - 13% - since the 1980s.
> Neo-nazis gained 7% of the vote and entered parliament for the first time.
> The previous far-right party LAOS is much like any other far-right European
> party but the new Golden Dawn is a classic nazi party, physically attacking
> immigrants. Partial explanation: Greece is experiencing not only an economic
> crisis but the collapse of the state. People feel abandoned and some demand
> authority figures.
> The political landscape is now polarised between Syriza on the left and the
> Conservative right which is regrouping with remnants of LAOS, neoliberals
> and anti-communists. There has been nothing like this since the 1974/75
> Portuguese Revolution.
> EU and EB proposals for Greece are more brutal than those of the IMF. Syriza
> rejects the economic adjustment programme for Greece which includes mass
> privatisation of assets (http://tinyurl.com/bpa6hub) and demands a
> renegotiated debt payment programme using Argentina as an example, with a
> proportion of the debt written off. If Greece unilaterally ignores the
> agreement the EU will stop paying Greece leading to rapid economic collapse.
> Syriza wants public control of the banks but is not calling for exit of the
> Euro because the majority of the population does not want that and as a
> small country there is fear of isolation.
> Question from the floor regarding continued military spending: This is a big
> scandal in Greece and Syriza would cut military spending. However Stathis
> Kouvelakis cautioned that Greece still feels vulnerable in the region,
> specifically to Turkey and referred to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
> (The Greek left does seem to see a need for the nation to arm itself. Turkey
> has a booming economy I noticed a year or so ago on a short and unscheduled
> snow chaos stop-over)
> There is a Weimar element to what is happening. For the moment there is a
> rise of the radical left rather than right but there are concerns as to what
> will happen if the radical left fails. Pinoche-isation of the traditional
> right is happening now.
> Syriza 's plan B: Exiting the Euro now would trigger uncontrolled
> consequences but Syriza holds exit of the Euro and EU as an option.
> Greek Communist Party: Coalition of a broad radical left includes the Greek
> Communist Party but the CP is extremely isolationist, sectarian,
> uncompromising and unwilling to work with others. CP shares common ground
> with Syriza but won't co-operate in practice. Syriza is therefore more
> likely to negotiate therefore with the Democratic Left who are more moderate
> and rightist. Syriza includes many radicals from previous splits in CP. Many
> key Syriza and CP people spent time in prison together during the time of
> the military junta but the CP are now obsessed with shielding itself from
> perceived traitors who left.
> Greece needs deep internal reform to prevent re-occurrence. In addition to
> widespread tax avoidance, small and big capital are legally exempt from
> taxation. Will politicians go to prison for corruption and false accounting?
> There is a popular call for that.
> EU reform:
> German Reunification provides a good comparison for fiscal inequality in the
> EU. A common strong currency works automatically in favour of countries like
> Germany with low inflation and a stable labour market.
> Reply to stereotype of 'Greek laziness', worryingly widespread even on the
> Sovereign debt in Greece is equivalent to Spain and Portugal. Debt is
> fuelled by cheap credit. The Greek debt is in fact lower than Spain but the
> bulk of it is public rather than private.
> The Eurozone works by polarising those losing and those increasing in
> competitiveness and a gap between the EU periphery and core. Entrenched
> neo-liberalism in Eurozone cannot be allowed to go on. I guess Syriza sees
> more to be gained from a coalition of similar groups throughout the EU.
> Front de gauche campaigners, based in London, leaflet and participate at
> Café Diplo. Later this month Reel News will screen films about the Greek
> situation at Halkevi, the Turkish-Kurdish Cultural Centre in Hackney.
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