December 17, 2016: Rethinking Greece: Nancy Fraser on the Left project and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony We had all the Occupy and Indignados movements throughout the world, and I would say that Spain and Greece were really the only countries, at least in Europe and North America, who managed to develop something out of those movements: people found a form to institutionalize, at least temporarily, those energies, instead of letting them totally disappear
November 19, 2016: Syriza revisited: what can the British left learn from Greece? When I visited Athens in the heat of the Greek bailout referendum last year, the city felt like an insurrection. Posters, stickers and arguments adorned every café and public space, while legions of young Syriza activists rushed between workplaces and community gatherings and campuses.
November 8, 2016: Greek prime minister reshuffles cabinet to boost bailout reforms The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has reshuffled his government to boost bailout reforms in the hope of getting the EU to agree to critical debt relief by the end of the year. Heralding a new political era for his country, the embattled leader said on Sunday the time had come to expedite measures demanded by international creditors and “turn the page”.
October 29, 2016: Syriza: The Congress' Critical Questions The second congress of Syriza took place in Athens from 13 to 16 September, the first since the takeover of the government by the Syriza-led coalition. Two years as long as a whole era: the victorious elections of January 2015, the negotiations with the Troika, the historic Oxi vote, the coup of July, the subsequent party split followed by the electoral victory in September.
October 16, 2016: White House asked Bill Clinton to advise Tsipras to sign bailout last year According to email correspondence revealed by WikiLeaks, the White House asked Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff, John Podesta, to inquire whether the former U.S. president would be willing to intervene following the Greek referendum in July last year with the aim of getting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to agree on a new bailout agreement with the country’s partners and creditors.
October 12, 2016: Greece: A Country for Sale Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza government have overseen privatizations at a scale unseen since German reunification.
October 7, 2016: Greek police fire teargas at pensioners during anti-austerity protest Greek police have fired teargas and pepper spray at protesting pensioners after a group of them attempted to push over a police van near the office of the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, whose leftwing government faces mounting pressure over planned austerity measures.
October 4, 2016: Greece: A Country for Sale, Eleni Portaliou The most persistent myth concerning Syriza’s capitulation to the troika is that it was a 'forced choice.' To put it differently, 'there was no alternative' to signing a third memorandum, given an extremely unfavorable balance of forces at a European and international level. This is the only seemingly rational argument Tsipras and his followers have been able to produce defending their actions. The story, however, doesn’t end here.
September 17, 2016: Greece Was the Prologue By now, the story of Syriza’s capitulation to the European creditor institutions is well-known. Syriza came to power in January 2015 with a mandate to resist the imposition of austerity. Instead, Syriza folded under the pressure of the troika, accepting intensified austerity measures and dashing the hopes of its supporters.
September 9, 2016: Who Profited From the $440-Billion Greek Bailout? Not Greeks, Jack Rasmus This week marks the first anniversary of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, the third in that country's recent history since 2010. Last Aug. 20-21, 2015, the 'Troika'—i.e., the pan-European institutions of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), plus the IMF-imposed a third debt deal on Greece. Greece was given US$98 billion in loans from the Troika. A previous 2012 Troika imposed debt deal had added nearly US$200 billion to an initial 2010 debt deal of US$140 billion.
September 1, 2016: The Future of the Left in Europe, James Galbraith In the astonishing aftermath of the Brexit vote, David Cameron, George Osborne, and Nigel Farage are gone, the apparently talented Theresa May is in, Boris Johnson kicked upstairs, austerity is on hold, interest rates have been cut, inequality is suddenly a Tory issue, and Nicola Sturgeon emerges as the stateswoman who, by a deft gentlewoman’s non-agreement, may possibly salvage both the U.K. and British membership in the European Union. It makes you wonder: Had you known, how would you have voted?
August 28, 2016: Bailout Plan Is All About 'Rescuing Banks and Rich Greeks' The 750 billion euro package the European Union passed last week to prop up the common currency has been heavily criticized in Germany. Former Bundesbank head Karl Otto Pöhl told SPIEGEL that Greece may ultimately have to opt out, and that the foundation of the euro has been fundamentally weakened.
August 24, 2016: The European Challenge In Spain, the popular challenge to austerity that began with the indignados movement — commonly abbreviated as 15-M, for May 15, the day the protests began in 2011 — has contributed to the rise of new political formations with broad support. Podemos, a party that emerged from 15-M, is now a major player in national politics.
August 16, 2016: A year after the crisis was declared over, Greece is still spiralling down In a side street in the heart of Athens, two siblings are hard at work. For the past year they have run their hairdressing business – an enterprise that was once located on a busy boulevard – out of a two-bedroom flat. The move was purely financial: last summer, as it became clear that Greeks would be hit by yet more austerity to foot the bill for saving their country from economic collapse, they realised their business would go bust if it continued operating legally.
August 4, 2016: IMF: Confessing to the sin in order to repeat it You have read about the most recent IMF confession over its immolation of Greece. The question is: Does it signal a change in policies? Do not hold your breath! Recent history is pointing to a repetition of the crime-against-logic first committed in 2012 – an IMF tactic of confessing to the sin in order to repeat it with impunity!
July 17, 2016: Gathering the anti-Memorandum left in Greece Greece's Popular Unity, the radical left alliance formed last summer after the betrayal of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA in accepting the third "Memorandum" of austerity measures demanded by the European Union blackmailers, held its first party conference last year.
July 14, 2016: OXI revisited One year ago, OXI (NO) in the Greek referendum marked an impressive entrance of the popular masses to the political forefront along with a determination for struggle that had been missing from Greek politics for some time.
July 6, 2016: Will Brexit Lead to Grexit? Dimitri Lascaris says so-called leftist or socialist governments throughout the EU are engaging in self-immolation by embracing austerity, and then become wildly unpopular with the electorate.
May 28, 2016: Too little, too late: an appraisal of the latest Greek deal A new agreement has been reached between Greece and its creditors regarding the bailout program for the country. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, described the new deal as “ambitious” and a “major breakthrough”. However, a look at the details shows that it’s anything but.
May 26, 2016: IMF Predicts Unemployment In Greece Will Fall To 12 Percent....By 2040 The IMF has just released its latest Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) for Greece. It makes grim reading. Greece is never going to grow its way out of debt. And the 3.5% primary surplus to which the Syriza government seems hell-bent upon committing is frankly unbelievable...
May 25, 2016: Greece pushes fresh austerity drive through parliament The Greek parliament has approved a fresh round of austerity incorporating €1.8bn in tax increases – widely regarded as the most punitive yet – amid hopes the move will lead to much-needed debt relief when eurozone finance ministers meet this week. Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, mustered the support of 152 of his 153 deputies on Sunday to vote through policies that many have previously rejected.
May 12, 2016: 'Everyone's outraged': angry Greeks foresee Grexit and drachma's revival In his tiny shop in downtown Athens, Kostis Nakos sits behind a wooden counter hunched over his German calculator. The 71-year-old might have retired had he been able to make ends meets but that is now simply impossible. “All day I’ve been sitting here doing the maths,” he sighs, surrounded by the undergarments and socks he has sold for the past four decades.
May 11, 2016: Greece: vulture creditors jostling for their next feed It has taken only nine months for relations between the near-bankrupt Greek state and its creditors — the “Quartet” of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — to lurch to the brink of crisis. These relations are covered by the third bailout memorandum between Greece and the European Commission, which the SYRIZA-led government of prime minister Alexis Tsipras felt forced to swallow last July 12.
May 10, 2016: The Pitfalls and Possibilities of Socialist Transformation: The Case of Greece With its 2015 electoral victory in Greece, Syriza became the first left political party to lead a European government since the founding of the European Union. As such, its eventual capitulation to the demands of the Troika was a bitter development, and not only for the people of Greece. Because the need for change remains as great as ever, and efforts at electoral-based transformations continue, especially in Europe, this paper seeks to assess the Greek experience, and in particular Syriza’s political options and choices, in order to help activists more effectively respond to the challenges faced when confronting capitalist power.
May 10, 2016: Greek Parliament Raises Taxes, Slashes Pensions The unpopular move came after police fired teargas at protesters in Athens. Greece's parliament on early Monday passed a package of unpopular pension and tax reforms that the country's leftist-led government hopes will persuade official creditors to unlock bailout cash.
May 9, 2016: Greek Workers Start 3-Day Nationwide Strike Against Austerity Greeks started a three-day nationwide strike Friday in anger at tax and pension reforms pursued by the indebted nation to qualify for more of a multi-billion euro bailout it signed up to last year. Called by the largest private and public sector unions, the strike left ships docked at port, disrupted public transport and kept civil servants and journalists off the job.
May 8, 2016: Lion Share of Greek Bailout Used to Pay Old Debts, Not Support Greek Budget Less than 5 per cent of the $250-billion Greece received as part of its first two bailout programs actually went into state coffers. The rest was used to pay off old debts, make interest payments and to recapitalize Greek banks, according to a new study by the European School of Management and Technology.
May 5, 2016: Europe's liberal illusions shatter as Greek tragedy plays on Greece is running out of money. The government in Athens is raiding the budgets of the health service and public utilities to pay salaries and pensions. Without fresh financial support it will struggle to make a debt payment due in July.
April 28, 2016: Moment of truth for the Third Memorandum We've reached a point where we might well say, "Enough with the jokes already!" I'm referring to the silly talk about the supposedly positive "compensatory" measures to protect the poor that will flow from the new austerity program.
April 26, 2016: Time For Debt Reduction in Greece Once again, Greece is at an inflection point. With its cash balances severely stressed, it seems unlikely to be able to pay the cascading debt payments that are falling due over the next few months.
April 20, 2016: Greece and Portugal Form Front Against Austerity Policies The first joint front against austerity policies and in favor of adopting alternative policies in the EU was formed by the governments of Greece and Portugal on Monday, following a joint admission by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Portuguese counterpart António Costa that the memorandums didn’t provide the solutions to the countries’ problems.
April 10, 2016: SYRIZA, The IMF And The EU: Gambling With The Future Of Greece The latest flare up regarding Greece has followed publication by Wikileaks of illegally taped discussions among IMF officials. To analyse the significance of this event it is vital to bear one point in mind: Greece cannot meet the terms of the bailout agreement struck on July 2015 by Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras.
April 3, 2016: Methodology for a New Politics, Karitzis, Andreas The 2016 Phyllis Clarke memorial lecture is presented by Andreas Karitzis: Methodology for a New Politics: Changing the 'Operating System' of the Left after the Greek experience of 2015. Recorded in Toronto, 24 March 2016.
March 22, 2016, Bullet No. #1236: The 'SYRIZA Experience': Lessons and Adaptations, Andreas Karitzis The impact of the strategic defeat of last year is still very strongly shaping various reactions within the Greek left. Some people seem content with superficial explanations of what happened and return to habitual ways of thinking and acting; others sense the strategic depth of the defeat and turn inward to disappointment and demoralization.
March 15, 2016: The never-ending Greek disaster It is now eight years since Greece went into recession and six since it adopted a bailout strategy engineered by the IMF, the EU and the ECB. The SYRIZA government, elected in January 2015 with great hopes of rejecting austerity, has capitulated and is now applying the bailout policies.
March 15, 2016: The Greek Government's Parallel Program n the elections held last September, voters accepted SYRIZA’s new position, which was based on two axes: the application of the agreement signed under the Troika’s blackmail, combined with ongoing attempts to reduce its negative consequences, and the construction of a Parallel Program.
March 13, 2016: Greece, Austerity And Brexit Yanis Varoufakis, former Minister of Finance in Greece talks with Mark Blyth, Eastman Professor of Political Economy at the Watson Institute for International Studies and Brown University about the economically hot topics across Europe.
February 21, 2016: Discontent returns to the streets in Greece "A New phase of the SYRIZA era" is how one activist characterized the political situation in Greece since the re-election of the post-bailout SYRIZA government in September. In the last months of 2015, teachers, students, seamen, metro workers, municipal workers and pensioners protested or struck against the government's austerity measures.
February 13, 2016: The Dream That Became a Nightmare Taken out of context, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s speech celebrating the first year of the Syriza-ANEL government on January 24 might have sounded inspiring: full of references to democracy and popular sovereignty, openly claiming the legacy of the Greek left, defending important government initiatives and denouncing the conservative establishment.
February 13, 2016: Greece: it's unsustainable So the Greek parliament has approved the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Euro credit institutions for a third bailout deal valued at €86bn over three years (Greece MOU). The terms of the bailout funding commit the Greek government to a new round of austerity measures, including pension cuts, tax increases, a ‘fire sale’ of state assets, a reduction in labour rights and an end to minimum wage rises and a reversal of public sector re-employment.
February 10, 2016: Where Now For Greece? The Greek crisis has entered its final stage and it is becoming ever more difficult to penetrate the complexities of the unfolding events. Social Europe has published analytical pieces on the political and economic issues for years. Find below some of our key articles we recommend reading if you want to understand what is going on.
February 7, 2016: Biggest general strike in years defies Syriza's pension cuts in Greece The huge general strike rally in Athens today, Thursday, was probably the biggest since 2011 and the summer of mass occupations of public squares. The centre of Athens was so full of people that any attempt at separate rallies became meaningless. The picture is the same all over Greece—the rally in the second city Thessalonica was huge and there were rallies even in many small places.
February 6, 2016: Greece grinds to a halt in general strike over pension reforms Services across Greece ground to a halt Thursday as workers joined in a massive general strike that cancelled flights, ferries and public transport, shut down schools, courts and pharmacies, and left public hospitals with emergency staff.
January 28, 2016, Bullet No. #1214: Austerity Unbroken, Jannis Milios Much coverage of the Greek debt crisis has focused on the ‘troika’ of international creditors and German chancellor Angela Merkel – a striking image of parasitic foreign powers scapegoating the country for personal gain. In some corners of the Left, this narrative has fueled the demand for ‘Grexit’ (a Greek exit from the eurozone) under the impression that such a move would create a more favorable environment for a break with austerity.
January 27, 2016: One year on, Syriza has sold its soul for power, Costas Lapavitsas Today (Jan 25) marks a year since a radical left government was elected in Greece; its dynamic young prime minster, Alexis Tsipras, promising a decisive blow against austerity. Yanis Varoufakis, his unconventional finance minister, arrived in London soon after and caused a media sensation. Here was a government that disregarded stuffy bourgeois conventions and was spoiling for a fight. Expectations were high.
January 27, 2016, Bullet No. #1213: Rekindling Hope: SYRIZA's Challenges and Prospects, Michalis Spourdalakis Before turning to the main theme of this article it would be very useful to come to terms with at least the following preliminary observations: The left in government and especially the radical left in government has never been the subject of easy discussion among leftists. As the project of social transformation was never a peaceful stroll in the park, the debates on the question of in and/or out of government, let alone those about political power, have been very heated.
January 24, 2016: Hope Has Turned to Despair One Year After Syriza's Historic Rise to Power Syriza’s meteoric rise to power from a small, loose association of leftists representing a plethora of left-wing ideological orientations (eurocommunists, anarcho-communists, Trotskyists, former pro-Soviet communists, and crypto-social democrats) that barely had 5% of the popular vote ten years ago will surely preoccupy political analysts and historians for a long time to come.
January 24, 2016: Greek Farmers Blockade Highways Over Pension Cuts To cover a projected €600m deficit in this year’s pension budget, the government is proposing cuts to benefits and increasing employers’ contributions. Greek farmers also face an additional government measure that will double the income tax they pay.
January 24, 2016: The broad left party question after Syriza The abject capitulation of the leadership of Syriza to the austerity agenda of the Greek and the broader European ruling class represents a significant setback both for the Greek working class and for the struggle against austerity across the whole of Europe. Greece has, over the last six years, been a vital centre of struggle on which the attention of the international left has rightly been focused.
January 23, 2016: The rise and fall of Syriza Kevin Ovenden’s new book, Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth, provides an invaluable introduction for a broad English-speaking audience to Greece’s social and political struggle against neoliberal austerity. Ovenden draws lessons for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of activists who are engaged in similar fights throughout the world.
January 22, 2016: We will come to Athens and burn them: political protest returns to Greece Farmers’ roadblocks, ferries immobilised in ports, pensioners taking to the streets: protest has returned to Greece in what many fear could be the beginning of the crisis-plagued country’s most confrontational winter yet. From the Greek-Bulgarian frontier to the southern island of Crete, farmers are up in arms over the spectre of more internationally mandated austerity.
January 21, 2016: Against Austerity and the Leadership of the Financial Markets Did we try everything to get out of the economic and social crisis in Europe? The austerity policies have failed and have even produced catastrophic results in blocking the economic recovery, destroying public services, increasing the debts.
January 17, 2016: Greek lawyers stage indefinite strike against pension cuts Lawyers across Greece began an indefinite strike yesterday, Thursday, against pension cuts the Syriza government is pushing through to appease its creditors. Up to 15,000 lawyers and supporters marched through the streets of the capital Athens.
January 10, 2016: Greece's Two Currencies Imagine a depositor in the US state of Arizona being permitted to withdraw only small amounts of cash weekly and facing restrictions on how much money he or she could wire to a bank account in California. Such capital controls, if they ever came about, would spell the end of the dollar as a single currency, because such constraints are utterly incompatible with a monetary union.
January 9, 2016: The Left after Syriza Less than a year ago, in January 2015, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) stunned the world by resoundingly defeating Greece’s traditional bourgeois parties and forming a new government based on a program of resisting and reversing the austerity regime imposed in 2010 by the infamous Troika.
January 2, 2016: This Is A Coup - the documentary Produced by Paul Mason and Theopi Skarlatos, this documentary looks at the European Union's confrontation with the Greek Syriza party in 2015. With unprecedented access to key Greek politicians.
December 27, 2015: The Inside Story of Syriza's Struggle to Save Greece Yanis Varoufakis is pacing the marble hall, cellphone to his ear. In the Maximos Mansion, where the cabinet is about to meet, there’s a “spy room” for secure communications. But by June 21, Varoufakis—hunched against a statue—no longer needs it. If the Germans are listening, they need to hear what he is planning to do. With nine days to go until the Greek bailout program ends, Varoufakis is about to offer a significant compromise to the lenders.
December 25, 2015: Greek parliament votes unanimously to recognise state of Palestine during Abbas visit The Greek parliament has voted unanimously in favour of recognising the state of Palestine during a visit from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The government of Alexis Tsipras had previously been urged by the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to make the move, removing references to "the Palestinian Authority".
December 23, 2015: Greece: Why Capitulate? Another Way Is Possible The question of Greece’s debt is absolutely central. Beginning in May 2010, when the first Memorandum Of Understanding was imposed on Greece and the Troika – an association between the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission – was formed, the question of the debt has been absolutely essential, and remains so for the years ahead of us.
December 20, 2015: Greek government shelves parallel program The government was Thursday forced to withdraw its so-called parallel program, which is aimed at easing the burden of austerity on poorer Greeks, following objections by representatives of the country’s international creditors during a session of the Euro Working Group in Brussels.
December 19, 2015: Once upon a time there was Eurocommunism The ongoing financial crisis has highlighted different aspects of how Greece is engaged in various European dilemmas and how political developments in the country are interwoven with Europe’s contrasts. In this context, tracing the history of left wing political forces in Greece and their access to power involves a reexamination of the history of eurocommunism, since SYRIZA and other European radical left parties draw their legacy from this ideological tradition.
December 16, 2015: Chronicles of a Defeat Foretold When viewed from the outside, the relationship of the SYRIZA party with the grassroots movements that have been resisting austerity on the ground in the past five years can easily be idealized. After all, both were responses to a barbaric attack on the Greek popular classes, and both aimed to put an end to neoliberal structural adjustment. A closer examination, however, demonstrates the fundamental differences between the two projects, and can reveal that their confluence was a mere marriage of convenience that ended in a bitter divorce.
December 16, 2015: 14 Airports in Greece to Be Privatized in $1.3 Billion Deal Greece’s leftist-led government on Monday signed its first major privatization deal, granting a German company the right to lease and manage more than a dozen regional airports. The contract, worth 1.2 billion euros, or $1.3 billion, is part of an effort to privatize state assets and adopt economic changes demanded by international creditors.
December 1, 2015: Syriza's U-turn on Israel is now complete Syriza was a popular leftist political party which was swept to power in Greek elections on its promise to end years of IMF-and EU-imposed austerity. By now, though, the party's leadership has sold out its principles, implementing the very same austerity it was elected to oppose, even after a massive "No" vote in a summer referendum on a new bailout that came with further severe austerity conditions.
November 23, 2015, Bullet No. #1188: The Realism of Audacity, Panagiotis Sotiris In a certain way, I feel a certain unease since the entire Greek Left has some form of responsibility for the fact that Greece is not currently a laboratory of hope; rather it is a reason for despair. What I am going to say should be taken as a form of self-criticism rather than a declaration. I consider myself part of the problem... The problem is that in the country where the most aggressive experiment in neoliberal social engineering was met with the most massive, almost insurrectionary sequence of struggles.
November 22, 2015: The internationalist case against the European Union For the first time in a generation Britain will vote on its membership of the European Union, probably in the autumn of 2016. How to vote in that referendum is a difficult choice for anyone on the left. Since the 1990s the anti-EU camp has been dominated by the chauvinist and racist right, initially on the Thatcherite wing of the Tory party, but now enjoying separate and increasingly powerful representation in the shape of the UK Independence Party.
November 22, 2015: Greece's SYRIZA Shaky as Tsipras' Friend Sakellaridis Resigns Over Unpopular Measures Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked parliament member Gavriil Sakellaridis to resign after the latter said he will abstain from Thursday’s vote on the omnibus bill that includes unpopular measures. Sakellaridis had served as government spokesperson and deputy minister to the PM during the previous SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government term. He was tied with friendship bonds and political camaraderie with the prime minister, who had put him high on the electoral list in the Athens A Region in the September 20 elections.
November 15, 2015: Greek Strike Shows Conflict Within Government Over Austerity Hundreds of thousands of Greeks walked off their jobs on Thursday to protest austerity economics as officials of the leftist-led government wrangled with the country’s international creditors over the terms of Greece’s third bailout. At least one Athens protest turned violent.
November 15, 2015: From Greece to Portugal to Corbyn's Labour Party After decades of uninterrupted neoliberal austerity across Europe, in recent years a new left alternative has begun to take shape. Today working people have once again turned to confront the capitalist classes in their own countries, and to challenge the vision of a neoliberal Europe with a reinvigorated left politics that seeks to build social movements by working both within and outside the state. Three of the most prominent examples have been Syriza's meteoric rise in Greece; the continuing electoral gains of Portugal's Left Bloc since its formation in 1999; and most recently the victory of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party leadership elections.
November 14, 2015: The Left after Syriza Less than a year ago, in January 2015, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) stunned the world by resoundingly defeating Greece’s traditional bourgeois parties and forming a new government based on a program of resisting and reversing the austerity regime imposed in 2010 by the infamous Troika (consisting of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission).
November 6, 2015, Bullet No. #1183: The Politics of the Right and the Dilemmas of the Left, The Socialist Register The Preface to the 2016 Socialist Register, The Politics of the Right, includes the following paragraphs: "There is a great strategic importance in a sober analysis of the strength of new right today, and the impasse of the left emerges here as a central concern."
November 1, 2015: Schäuble's Gathering Storm Europe’s crisis is poised to enter its most dangerous phase. After forcing Greece to accept another “extend-and-pretend” bailout agreement, fresh battle lines are being drawn. And, with the refugee influx exposing the damage caused by divergent economic prospects and sky-high youth unemployment in Europe’s periphery, the ramifications are ominous.
October 28, 2015: What's next for anti-austerity in Portugal and Greece? Two updates from Southern Europe this week: Catarina Principe brings us up-to-date on the situation in Portugal and Andreas Karitzis recounts the search for a new politics in Greece after (and under the rule of) Syriza.
October 27, 2015: The Fallout From The Greek Crisis Threatens European Democracy Overnight, on August 20-21, 1968, the combined forces of five Warsaw Pact countries, led by the USSR, invaded Czechoslovakia and overthrew the reforming government of Alexander Dubcek. Dubcek’s government aimed to establish “socialism with a human face”. In April 1968, it announced an “action plan” which re-established free speech and removed state controls on industry. The ensuing period of social and democratic reform became known as the “Prague Spring”.
October 25, 2015: Good German Politics What criticisms hasn't Wolfgang Schäuble had to listen to since the successful extortion of Alexis Tsipras and his government? That he's damaged democracy in Europe, that he's harmed Germany's reputation abroad, and yes, that above all he has done damage to "the European idea." The man's only purpose in the world seems to be to inflict harm upon everything that is beautiful and noble. Consequentially, an online petition demands his resignation.
October 23, 2015: Greek civil servants call November 12 strike over pensions Greek civil servants union ADEDY on Tuesday called a 24-hour general strike for Nov. 12 in protest at pension reforms required under Greece's latest bailout deal with its international lenders. On Monday, private sector union GSEE called a strike for the same day, adding to a groundswell of public discontent at a raft of tax hikes and pension cutbacks that Athens has had to make under the terms of the 86 billion euro ($97.7 billion) bailout, its third since 2010.
October 20, 2015: SYRIZA 2.0 as an Austerity Party One might say that historical time has been condensed in Greece. In less than a year we have seen changes in the political landscape that in other countries would have taken a decade.
October 19, 2015: Greece Approves First Austerity Bill Greece’s lawmakers approved Friday the first bill containing tough austerity measures and economic overhauls agreed under its new bailout program.
October 15, 2015: Greece Without Illusions “The costliest minor government reshuffle in Greece’s history.” That is at least one way to describe the result of the Greek general election on September 20. Indeed, with few exceptions, the same ministers have returned to the same offices as part of an administration backed by the same odd pair of parties (the left-wing Syriza and the smaller right-wing Independent Greeks), which received only a slightly lower share of the vote than the previous administration.
October 14, 2015: European left debates a 'Plan B' against austerity A statement was jointly published on September 11 by former Die Linke (Left Party) leader Oskar Lafontaine from Germany; Italian deputy and economist Stefano Fassina, leader of France's Left Party Jean-Luc Melenchon, and former deputy and parliamentary speaker Zoe Kostantopoulou and ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis from Greece — both former members of SYRIZA who resigned after the left-wing party accepted harsh austerity measures in July. The statement calls for a summit to be held by the end of the year to develop a new common plan for the left in Europe.
October 12, 2015: The Path Not Taken The “Programme of Social and National Rescue for Greece” was written in Athens in the early spring. That was a time of great concern for those who truly wanted social and economic change in Greece, as opposed to those who merely talked about it.
October 11, 2015: The Syriza Problem Syriza, the populist party that has governed Greece for the last ten months, has had an extraordinary free ride from the global left. Today, there are serious left critics in Greece—and in Europe and the United States, too. But it is still rare to see the Syriza problem clearly addressed.
October 11, 2015: International Socialism -- Issue 148 Two faces of reformism by Alex Callinicos; Why did Syriza fail? by Panos Garganas; Up against the clock: Climate, social movements and Marxism by Suzanne Jeffery...
October 7, 2015: Truth Commitee on Public Debt In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroads of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. Five years since the economic adjustment programme began, the country remains deeply cemented in an economic, social, democratic and ecological crisis.
October 4, 2015: I find it hard to congratulate SYRIZA, Sarah Vagkenknecht [Google translation]: Can Gregor Gizi, outgoing president of Die Linke, come to Athens to provide support for Alexis Tsipras and make aggressive statements against the Popular Unity. In fact, the German Left are much more divided than seen in the way it treats the Greek state.
September 29, 2015: Rethinking Greece: Stathis Gourgouris Much of what I argued 20 years ago still stands: an asymmetrical relation (politically and economically); a cultural disjunction, going back to the 19th century and before, that creates a trust deficit on both sides; and an internal ambiguity among Greeks that makes Europe the mark of both xenophobia and xenophilia simultaneously.
September 28, 2015: How Germany Gains From The Euro While Others Pay The ‘non-paper’ which Wolfgang Schäuble presented to his fellow finance ministers at a recent ECOFIN council in Luxemburg represents something of a paradox. One of its main ideas is that the euro area lacks a procedure that could declare member states bankrupt when having lost access to financial markets.
September 28, 2015: The Greek Elections and the Strategic Debates within the Left On September 21, Alexis Tsipras returned as prime minister, supported by a coalition between his party and the right-wing nationalist Anel party. It has been only two months since the massive victory of the “NO“ vote in the referendum on the third memorandum.
September 27, 2015: Beyond Reform vs. Rupture If nothing else, phase one of Syriza’s tenure has revealed the limits of reformism in a period of stagnation and global economic integration. It’s also shown the need for a Plan B.
September 27, 2015: Some Clarity Will the debate on the euro ever be free of the curse of the Front National? Without doubt, everything seems set on condemning it to this association, especially in an era when all kinds of confusion and hysteria mix together to the extent that it is impossible to have even the slightest rational debate.
September 27, 2015, Bullet No. #1167: SYRIZA's Pyrrhic Victory, and the Future of the Left in Greece, Richard Fidler In the wake of the September 20 Greek election SYRIZA has once again formed a coalition government with a small right-wing party, ANEL. SYRIZA's 35.46% and ANEL's 3.69%, combined, were sufficient to give them a majority of 155 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
September 26, 2015: Kevin Ovenden: Syriza Syriza's victory in Greece was one of the central political events of the twenty-first century, and the fierce confrontation with Greece’s creditors which followed reverberated around the world.
September 23, 2015: Tsipras' Pyrrhic victory and the struggle ahead Alexis Tsipras' SYRIZA won a resounding victory in general elections on September 20, winning nearly as many seats in parliament as it did in the January 2015 election that first brought it to power. The strong showing came despite Tsipras negotiating another so-called Memorandum of harsh austerity measures demanded by the European governments and financial institutions in return for bailing out the ailing Greek financial system.
September 23, 2015: First Thoughts on the Greek Election This was not a good election night. I am not talking mainly about the fact that Popular Unity failed to pass the 3 percent threshold necessary to gain parliamentary representation, but rather that the election results seem like a vindication of Syriza’s capitulation to the European Union and the signing of the new memorandum. The new loan agreement will mean devastating cuts and neoliberal reforms, and we now have a parliament dominated by pro-memoranda forces to see it all through.
September 22, 2015: Syriza Couldn't End Austerity in Greece Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza came to power in January promising to end austerity and tear up the memorandum of measures imposed by Greece’s creditors. Outside Greece, many on the left celebrated the victory as the start of a new era, projecting all sorts of hopes onto the small, untried left party. Eight months on—after nail-biting negotiations with the eurozone, a resounding “No” vote in a referendum on new bailout terms, closed banks, capital controls, and rumors of impending Grexit followed swiftly by a capitulation to the creditors—Syriza has been re-elected as a pro-memorandum party, with almost as large a share of the vote as it had in January.
September 22, 2015: Syriza wins Greek election A jubilant Alexis Tsipras vowed to continue fighting for his country's pride and to quickly form a coalition government after his left-wing Syriza party comfortably won Greece's third national vote this year on Sunday.
September 21, 2015: What Popular Unity Can Do Ahead of the Greek elections tomorrow, Popular Unity remains the best hope for the radical left.
September 21, 2015: SYRIZA Emerges Victorious in Greek Elections After Eight Month Wild Ride SYRIZA has done it again. The Coalition of the Radical left has won its second legislative elections in eight months having garnered approximately 35.5 per cent of the Greek vote on Sunday. Former Greek Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has almost returned to the country’s helm with a 7.5% margin from his opponent, New Democracy president Evangelos Meimarakis. However, this victory is not yet complete as SYRIZA was unable to win an absolute majority and will thus have to look for a coalition partner.
September 21, 2015: Tsipras crushes his opponents, left and right, to gain second term It was a Greek family christening. In a modest restaurant in the suburbs of Athens yesterday an extended family – originally farmers – were celebrating a new arrival. They tied small crucifixes to their wrists, sipped beer and then – because I couldn’t resist asking them – we went round the table and they told me how they’d voted.
September 21, 2015: Greek elections: do Syriza want to win? Alexis Tsipras’ final election rally had the usual soundtrack and familiar props but a different cast. After more than a fifth of his MPs split to form a new left party, the inner core of party activists behind the stage were nervous. Would anybody more than the party faithful come?
September 20, 2015: Greece: the election is over, the economic crisis is not What a difference eight months can make. When Syriza came to power in Greece in January it did so on a wave of voter enthusiasm. There was talk of an austerity party breaking the mould of post “great recession” politics. Europe’s political establishment looked on in horror. The financial markets trembled.
September 20, 2015: Eurozone's enforcer ready to keep Greece's new leader in line Whoever ends up moving into Maximos Mansion, the official Athens residence of Greece’s prime ministers, after Sunday’s election, they will not, in any meaningful sense, be running the country. That honour might be said to go instead to a besuited Dutch economist in Brussels with the imposing title of director-general in the secretariat-general of the European commission in charge of the Structural Reform Support Service.
September 19, 2015: Elections in Greece and the left's challenge The people of Greece will vote on Sunday, September 20, in another general election that will be a referendum on the SYRIZA government that took office last January promising to reverse the dire austerity policies embodied in the so-called Memorandums--but which capitulated to the demands of European governments and international financial institutions for an even harsher austerity program.
September 18, 2015, Bullet No. #1164: Syriza Before and After the Elections: To Fight Another Day, Michalis Spourdalakis The historical victory of the Left in January marked a change in the system of political representation which outlines a new dynamic for the political forces. However, the way in which this victory was achieved and the difficulties that the first government of the left faced, led after the referendum of the 5 of July, to a big fallback, a big defeat. This defeat needs to be understood as a turning point in a long and large war for the victory of the left in the struggle for the control of state power.
September 16, 2015: Greek Dockworkers Fight Privatization and For Worker Rights Greek Piraeus Port Union leader Giorgis Gogos who is general secretary of the union discusses the privatization of the port of Pireaeus by the Chinese shipping company China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco). He also reports on the conditions of workers who now work for Cosco.
September 12, 2015: Les conséquences internationales catastrophiques de la capitulation annoncée de Syriza Comme on devait s’y attendre, la direction prise par le gouvernement Tsipras après la funeste journée du 13 Juillet a confirmé la prévision pessimiste selon laquelle il allait se tourner avec un cynisme et une violence -- pour l’instant seulement verbale -- inouïe contre ceux et celles qui oseraient contester sa totale métamorphose pro-mémorandum.
September 10, 2015: Awakening the European Left An interview with Greek MP Costas Lapavitsas on Popular Unity and the case for a progressive Grexit.
September 9, 2015: What Does Popular Unity Stand For? Released on September 2, the manifesto of Popular Unity is signed by the fifteen organizations of the radical left that comprise this political front, which seeks a rupture with austerity and the eurozone. Usually presented as a split from Syriza, Popular Unity actually includes a more variegated blend of forces, from left social democrats and social movement activists to far-left currents.
September 6, 2015: Alexis Tsipras faces shock election defeat Greek voters are set to punish the government of prime minister Alexis Tsipras after polls show his hard-Left Syriza party is on course for a shock defeat in a general election later this month. Mr Tsipras, who called a snap vote on August 20, has seen his party’s comfortable 15 point lead evaporate in just six weeks, putting the centre-right New Democracy in pole position to lead Greece's fifth government in just four years.
September 6, 2015: What's Next for Greece? Most readers already probably know the sequence of events between Greece and its creditors over the last month: a fruitless and frustrating negotiation; a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the creditors; the announcement of a referendum (the first in more than 40 years) for the people of Greece to decide whether to accept the offer...
September 6, 2015: Briefing Note On Recent Political Developments In Greece On 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. 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.
September 5, 2015: Whitewashing the IMF's Destructive Role in Greece This autumn may see anti-austerity coalitions gain power in Portugal, Spain and Italy, while Marine le Pen’s National Front in France presses for outright withdrawal from the eurozone. These countries face a common problem: how to resist the economic devastation that the European Central Bank (ECB), European Council and IMF “troika” has inflicted on Greece and is now intending to do the same to southern Europe.
September 3, 2015: Greece's Ex-Finance Minister Takes Questions From 9 Leading Academics When Yanis Varoufakis was elected to parliament and then named as Greek finance minister in January, he embarked on an extraordinary seven months of negotiations with the country’s creditors and its European partners. On July 6, Greek voters backed his hardline stance in a referendum, with a resounding 62 percent voting No to the European Union’s ultimatum.
September 3, 2015: SYRIZA Keeps Bleeding as Party Youth Members Withdraw Support Less than three weeks before Sunday, September 20, and SYRIZA numbers keep dropping in polls. The blows Alexis Tsipras is receiving keep coming from all directions, and they are really strong. On Monday, his speech writer Theodoros Kollias resigned stating that SYRIZA has lost its founding ideals. On Tuesday, the SYRIZA Youth issued a statement saying they withdraw their support to the party in the upcoming elections. Also, the same day, another part of the SYRIZA coalition, the Communist Drift, left the party and will join new SYRIZA offshoot Popular Unity.
September 2, 2015: After Syriza When Alexis Tspiras resigned his premiership earlier this month and called for a snap election, it signaled a new round in the ongoing battle between Greece and its creditors.
August 31, 2015: With election near, Tsipras faces widening rift within Syriza Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras has seen off a threat from far-left rebels but his anti-austerity-turned-pro-bailout Syriza party is struggling through a deeply divisive identity crisis weeks before a national election. Just hours after Tsipras resigned as prime minister last week to pave the way for early elections, a sixth of Syriza's lawmakers broke away to form their own party to fight the 86 billion euro bailout package their former boss signed up to.
August 30, 2015: What About the Greek Communist Party? Recent developments in Greece are reshaping the country’s radical left. Most of the discussion has centered on Syriza and its failure to tackle austerity, as well as the growth of left opposition within (and now outside) the party.
August 29, 2015: Fifty-three Left Platform Members Resign from SYRIZA Central Committee Fifty-three members of SYRIZA’s Central Committee, most of them affiliated with Panagiotis Lafazanis’ Left Platform, resigned on Wednesday. In a letter, they stressed that they were unable to serve the new Memorandum signed by Greece, which they said delivered the final blow to the Greek people, as Central Committee members. The majority of the 53 have already joined Lafazanis’ Popular Unity movement.
August 28, 2015: Asking the Right Questions It would be hard to do a better job defending the political project that was Syriza — against both those who have condemned it from the beginning and those who now defend the leadership’s capitulation — than Stathis Kouvelakis has done over the past few months. Kouvelakis, however, was not only defending Syriza or the “new” European left more broadly, but the very strategy of building mass workers parties.
August 27, 2015: The left challenge to Tsipras' surrender Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' decision to resign and push for national elections prior to a SYRIZA congress has forced a split in the party, with 25 SYRIZA members of parliament launching Popular Unity with a public letter on August 20. The grouping is based among SYRIZA's Left Platform, led by former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, but it is also gathering crucial support from other groups and individuals on the left.
August 27, 2015: Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan. The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.
August 25, 2015: Greece to sell water, energy firms under EU deal Greek privatisations under the EU bailout are set to include water companies, leading energy firms, and swathes of infrastructure. The list, compiled by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, and agreed with creditors on 30 July, was published on Wednesday (19 August) by German Green MEP Sven Giegold.
August 24, 2015: New blow for Greece's SYRIZA as rebels try to form gov't Greece's embattled ruling SYRIZA party suffered another blow Monday when its secretary quit, as euroskeptic rebels were given a mandate to try to form a government. SYRIZA secretary Tasos Koronakis stepped down in protest at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' decision last week to call early elections, backtracking on an earlier proposal to hold a party congress in September to address the rebel faction.
August 24, 2015: Varoufakis: I Will Not Be on the SYRIZA Ballot Greece’s former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he will not be on the SYRIZA ballot in the upcoming elections because “we betrayed the majority of the Greek people.” Varoufakis gave an interview to French magazine Nouvel Observateur saying that “he will not be a candidate of a party that would aim to implement the July 13 decision, even if this party has wide acceptance among Greek people.”
August 23, 2015: The Postcolonial Bind of Greece To call a country in Europe a post-colony could be considered an insult. Colonialism and postcolonial destiny is for others – countries, nations, and peoples outside the Euro-North Atlantic world, including a few honorary members like Japan and Australia.
August 23, 2015: Greece: 'Popular Unity' is born! Early this morning, 25 Syriza MPs left the parliamentary group of the party to create a new group under the name of “Popular Unity”. Most of these MPs are affiliated to the Left Platform, but some others also joined, like Vangelis Diamantopoulos and Rachel Makri, a close collaborator of Zoe Kostantopoulou.
August 22, 2015: Greece: Party and Ministry When the new Greek government was formed shortly after Syriza's historic electoral victory of January 25, Aristides Baltas, the eminent Greek philosopher, was appointed to head the largest department in the state, with responsibility for administering not only education as well as cultural and religious affairs, but also sport.
August 21, 2015: The Future of Europe Unless it can restore the principles of growth and sovereignty on which it was founded, the Eurozone may not last.
August 21, 2015: Alexis Tsipras resigns, what's next for Greece?, Paul Mason Channel 4 News economics editor Paul Mason reacts to the news that Alexis Tsipras has resigned as Greek Prime Minister, and speculates on what this means for the country.
August 20, 2015: Thanks to the EU's villainy, Greece is now under financial occupation When my short essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed into “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats”. Although I effectively think that accepting the EU terms was not a simple defeat, I am far from such an optimist view.
August 19, 2015: Democracy against financial colonialism, Portuguese Left Bloc In the European Summit of July 12, the the Greek democratic referendum was responded with the financial occupation of Greece. National humiliation, imposed against the will of the people, and three more years of social punishment, cannot end well. The European Union has shown to millions of citizens, that it is ready for anything to impose the austerity plan, even running over democracy. So, in Greece and all over Europe, the answer will be built against this Union.
August 19, 2015: Greece and the fatal debt On Monday, August 3, 2015, Puerto Rico defaulted on its debt four weeks after Greece did the same on July1. Ukraine is bordering on a cease of payments, while their backers are providing them with arms and munitions on credit, in spite of their financial situation.
August 19, 2015: The performative dialectics of defeat Europe and the european left after july 13, 2015. Defeat is an important and multivalent aspect of left political thought and praxis: one that involves engaging with the political actuality and potentiality of the ‘always already’ and the ‘not yet’, as well as the fraught interface and very dialectical contradiction between these two temporal registers.
August 18, 2015: SYRIZA Hard Leftists to Start New Party in Greece SYRIZA Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis has indirectly announced the creation of a new political party by calling Greek people to join a new anti-bailout movement. Lafazanis has issued a written statement just when parliamentary committees began to debate the bailout agreement and will later go to vote.
August 18, 2015: The fight against the new memorandum begins now As the Greek parliament votes on the new agreement (memorandum) negotiated by prime minister Alexis Tsipras and the country’s creditors, the left of the ruling Syriza party and other organisations are moving into action against the capitulation.
August 18, 2015: The Great EU-IMF Standoff At yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting, a humbled and compliant Greece agreed to every condition its creditors threw at it in order to secure 86bn Euros of new financing to meet its obligations. In other words, it borrowed yet more money from its creditors in order to enable it to meet its existing obligations to them.
August 18, 2015: SYRIZA Votes for a Disastrous New EU Austerity Program The new austerity program that was proposed by the SYRIZA government and voted by the majority of SYRIZA and the discredited old pro-austerity and pro-EU parties brings disaster for the Greek people. Economic depression will be aggravated, foreign debt will be increased, wages and pensions reduced even more, poverty exacerbated and Greece’s subservience to EU’s imperialism heightened.
August 17, 2015: German Company Set to Take Over Operations of 14 Greek Airports Following the finalization of the third Greek bailout, privatizations and operation takeovers of Greek pubic assets are expected to recommence. Greek newspaper “Kathimerini” reported that German Fraport AG and Slentel Ltd will soon complete the takeover of the operation of 14 Greek airports.
August 17, 2015: Greece: SYRIZA on brink of split over new bail out deal By any logic, Greece's SYRIZA-led government should be sinking in the opinion polls. At the Brussels Eurosummit of Eurozone leaders on July 12, SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a set of draconian preconditions for obtaining a third €86-billion bailout. The decision effectively reversed the opposition to austerity on which SYRIZA was elected in January.
August 17, 2015: Greece and beyond: Capitalism versus Democracy in Europe The decline of democracy is particularly visible in the oligarchic functioning of the European Union, where the European Parliament has very little influence, while power is firmly in the hands of non-elected bodies, such as the European Commission, or the Central European Bank.
August 16, 2015: The ECB and the Betrayal of the Bagehot Rule There has been much discussion in the media about the Greek crisis, but the role of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been very much downplayed and has often been presented as an arm’s length institution that is above all suspicion, whose main objective has been merely to stabilize the Eurozone monetary and financial system.
August 16, 2015: Alexis Tsipras's Remarkable Transformation That the Greek government has reached an agreement with its creditors on a new three-year bailout program is remarkable; that it has done so just five weeks after it successfully urged Greek voters to reject the terms of the previous bailout program in a referendum that seemed to sound the death knell for its eurozone membership is astonishing.
August 16, 2015: Greece just got €55bn debt relief The euro zone just gave Greece up to €55bn in debt relief. Hang on. I thought the eurozone wasn’t even going to talk to Athens about debt relief until it after the first review of its new bailout programme – and that won’t be until October at the earliest.
August 16, 2015: Greece: Toward the political constitution of the front of the 'No' Early on Aug 14, the Greek parliament voted to approve the latest agreement with its creditors. But the deal was also met with the strongest resistance yet from within Syriza, which according to Stathis Kouvelakis is "disintegrating at record speed".
August 16, 2015: The Battle Against Austerity: Lessons From Greece Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler discuss alternate views on recent developments in the fight against austerity waged by Syriza and the Greek people. Moderated by Susan Spronk. Recorded in Ottawa, 10 August 2015.
August 15, 2015: Greece: it's unsustainable So the Greek parliament has approved the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Euro credit institutions for a third bailout deal valued at €86bn over three years (Greece MOU). The terms of the bailout funding commit the Greek government to a new round of austerity measures.
August 15, 2015: Greek Dockworkers Against the Troika Dockworker and Union Leader, Giorgos Gogos, who is also a member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA says the workers are very ready for the struggle against privatization and austerity in the Memorandum.
August 15, 2015: Provoking a split with the working class Greece's parliament will hold a final vote next week on the SYRIZA-led government's proposals for drastic new austerity measures, as the party leadership around Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prevailed in a late July Central Committee meeting over left-wing rebels who want the radical party to return to its founding principles of opposition to austerity.
August 15, 2015: Swapping one mirage for another: the Left's turn away from social Europe Witnessing the punishment inflicted on Syriza by the European Union (EU) as well as that party’s own inept handling of the Eurozone crisis, the Left is recoiling from the ‘good Euro’ strategy – the hope for ending austerity within the Eurozone – and beating a hasty retreat to the shelter of the sovereign state.
August 14, 2015: Polarisation in Syriza as democracy undermined in Greece Greek democracy is in grave danger. The IMF envoy to Athens has declared that the government’s proposed cuts do not go far enough. Brussels technocrats are taking up residence to oversee the administration of Greek political and economic life.
August 14, 2015: The Unsettled Greek Revolution While Syriza slowly recovers from the shock of the last few weeks, prime minister Alexis Tsipras is searching for a role. Greece after the referendum, closure of banks and the Brussels diktat. An investigation.
August 14, 2015: The battle in SYRIZA goes on The Greek government and European political and financial officials reached an agreement on the details of an 85 billion euro financial bailout, in return for the SYRIZA-led government pushing through drastic austerity measures. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is pressing for a final vote in parliament as early as this week, over the objections of Speaker of Parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou and other SYRIZA representatives.
August 13, 2015: Two roads for Europe Étienne Balibar reflects on two "radically incompatible" possibilities for Europe's future: neoliberalism and inevitable disintegration, or a democratic alternative that "gives a new meaning to European federalism".
August 13, 2015: Greece reaches new debt deal but critics brand targets 'utterly unachievable' Greece has agreed the broad terms of a new three-year bail-out deal with its international creditors, though experts warned that severe austerity demands mean the country's fiscal targets remained “utterly unachievable”. Technical details of the deal were finalised in the early hours of Tuesday morning, paving the way for Greece to unlock around €85bn in new loans.
August 12, 2015: Greece: Was, and Is There, an Alternative?, Richard Fidler On January 25 Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, emerged with a plurality of 36% of the popular vote in Greece’s national legislative election, winning 149 seats, two short of a majority, on a radical anti-austerity program. With the support of ANEL, a small right-wing but anti-austerity party, it formed a government.
August 12, 2015: The Failed Strategy We must learn the dangers of political shortcut and focus on building radical movements outside of government.
August 11, 2015: Behind the Compromise Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the referendum and the agreement that followed.
August 10, 2015: The Myth of the Bloated Greek State From Athens to Berlin to Washington, there is one thing about Greece that many seem to agree on: The country’s main problem is a bloated, overpaid, and corrupt state, which is suffocating the private sector.
August 9, 2015: Greece needs wide debt relief to avoid permanent depression Greece’s economy will suffer fresh damage from the austerity measures demanded by its creditors and will remain stuck in permanent depression unless it receives substantial debt relief, one of the UK’s leading thinktanks has warned.
August 9, 2015: Greece's debt burden can and must be lightened within the Euro Perhaps the greatest damage caused by the confrontation with Greece is a general loss of confidence. If we want to get Greece back to growth, people, companies and investors have to regain confidence in the viability of the country.
August 9, 2015: Greek tragedy Former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Greece’s economic crisis.
August 8, 2015: The Lethal Deferral of Greek Debt Restructuring The point of restructuring debt is to reduce the volume of new loans needed to salvage an insolvent entity. Creditors offer debt relief to get more value back and to extend as little new finance to the insolvent entity as possible.
August 7, 2015: The case for Grexit The prospect of a Greek default and exit from the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) first arose during the eurozone crisis in 2010. From the perspective of monetary theory, Greece’s problem is plain: a weak economy with major institutional problems has joined a structurally deficient monetary union.
August 6, 2015: The burdens of SΥΡΙΖΑ Our enemy took us seriously. Our enemy believed that we truly are a systemic danger. Not economy–wise, but in terms of politics. We have been treated as a threat against the hegemony of the neoliberal paradigm. We have been treated as a paradigm ourselves; a paradigm that had to be crushed, along with every attempt at questioning neoliberalism and every hope of overthrowing this system across Europe.
August 5, 2015: Syriza left needs to fight against deal Anyone who imagined that Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ capitulation to the European Union (EU) in July would end the Greek crisis was kidding themselves.
August 5, 2015: Escaping the Euro Dream, Nicole Gohlke and Janine Wissler This statement was published by Nicole Gohlke and Janine Wissler, two radical MPs in Germany's Die Linke associated with one of its far-left currents, Marx21. In it they criticize what they perceive as the party's failure to entertain political possibilities outside of the eurozone, limiting itself to strategies of creating a “social Europe” within the confines of the European Union (EU). Instead, they argue for a widening of the strategic debate in Die Linke in light of Syriza’s defeat at the hands of the troika.
August 5, 2015: Turning 'No' Into a Political Front All those who vested hopes in the prospects of a Syriza government still find themselves today in a state of “post-traumatic shock,” as Seraphim Seferiades aptly put it.
August 5, 2015: A Few Observations on the Greek Crisis, René Charest and Roger Rashi Like many anti-austerity leftist militants in the world, we have closely followed the Greek crisis unravel in the past few weeks. Like everyone else, we are not happy with the outcome. That Greece should be placed under such a trusteeship set up by the European commission is sad news. Nonetheless, we see that the situation is not static, and the struggle will continue on an ideological, economic and political front. History never ends; even less so the eternal class struggle.
August 4, 2015, Bullet No. #1150: Greek Youth Against Austerity, Syriza Youth The agreement reached in the months of negotiation of the SYRIZA-ANEL Government on 13 July is, beyond doubt, a huge defeat for the forces of the radical left in Greece. The unprecedented coup that lenders caused, was only the latest episode of a series of extreme coercion that led the government in a stifling political impasse.
August 3, 2015: Tsipras Defends Varoufakis Preparation for Grexit James K. Galbraith a member of the working group advising the former finance minister Varoufakis on 'Plan B' says there were great impositions imposed on the Greek government including certain procedures that removed control from the government and placed them in the hands of creditor institutions.
August 3, 2015: Naked Capitalism: 'We are in the business of making trouble' This year's political drama in Greece stands out as perhaps the least-understood, worst-reported major story of 2015. Greece is mired in debt, and locked into the Euro monetary system, which means Greece’s political destiny is in the hands of the European Central Bank, the IMF and the powerful nations that dominate the Eurozone, Germany and France —and not in the hands of Greece’s “demos,” its voting public.
August 3, 2015: Austerity is a Dead End On July 29, Sto Kokkino, the radio station politically close to Syriza, broadcast a long interview with Greece's Prime Minister. With permission, substantial excerpts follow, which offer unique insights into the fierce negotiations between Athens and its creditors and on the financial coup d'état directed against Greece’s left-wing government.
August 3, 2015: Universities forced to search for funding Austerity is putting new pressure on the education sector, with the University of Athens said to be considering delving into funding put aside for research to bankroll its operational costs.
August 2, 2015: To Grexit or Not to Grexit Amid accusations of “capitulation” and “left extremism,” panelists at the Democracy Rising conference heatedly debated what it would mean for Greece to stay in—or leave—the eurozone.
August 2, 2015: The euro, a political error I think that this is a battle between Northern Europe, with Germany in the lead, and the Mediterranean countries. What has been presented to the peoples of Europe as a unification process is, in reality, the process by which Northern Europe and international capitalism is consolidating its hegemony over the Mediterranean countries.
August 2, 2015: How Germany Prevailed in the Greek Bailout At the height of crucial negotiations over the latest bailout of Greece this month, Germany circulated a proposal that undercut decades of promises about the march toward deeper European unity: Greece, it said, could be offered a temporary exit from the euro.
August 2, 2015: Pressed by left, Greece's Tsipras vows 'thus far and no further' Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, struggling to contain a revolt in his left-wing Syriza party, said on Wednesday that his government would not implement reform measures beyond those agreed with lenders at a euro zone summit this month.
August 2, 2015, Bullet No. #1149: Social Democracy or Revolutionary Democracy: Syriza and Us, Michael A. Lebowitz All eyes on the Left are upon Greece. Not because of a general interest in the contradictions of capitalism in the midst of this particular crisis but because of Syriza. Unfortunately, what we are observing is not unique to Syriza. The story has been told before, and the story inevitably will occur again if we do not learn from it.
August 1, 2015: The Lethal Deferral of Greek Debt Restructuring The point of restructuring debt is to reduce the volume of new loans needed to salvage an insolvent entity. Creditors offer debt relief to get more value back and to extend as little new finance to the insolvent entity as possible.
August 1, 2015: European 'alliance of national liberation fronts' emerges to avenge Greek defeat It has come to this. The first finance minister of a eurozone country to draw up contingency plans for a possible euro exit is under investigation for treason. Greece's chief prosecutor is examining criminal charges against a five-man "working group" in the country's finance ministry for the sin of designing a "Plan B", a parallel system of euro liquidity and bank payments that could - in extremis - lead to a return of the drachma.
August 1, 2015: HARDtalk Stathis Kouvelakis Greece and its creditors have started negotiating a third rescue package worth up to 86 billion euros, but prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a rebellion from the hard left in his party, Syriza, who accuse him of going back on his promise to reject austerity.
August 1, 2015: SYRIZA Central Committee Session Turns into a Battlefield Greece’s ruling party looks likely to will split in two after Thursday’s Central Committee emergency session saw the Left Platform accusing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of “shackling Greece with a bailout Memorandum.”
July 30, 2015: Knife at its throat, Greece yields to Troika brutality In a summing-up speech to the Greek parliament in the earlier hours of July 16, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said of the punitive July 12 funding deal accepted by Greece after negotiations with Eurozone leaders.
July 30, 2015: Our new tasks in the struggle against austerity SYRIZA's Central Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday for the first time since the July 5 referendum in which the Greek people answered "no" to drastic new austerity measures demanded by the European blackmailers--and the subsequent surrender by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to that same blackmail.
July 30, 2015: SYRIZA Left Platform Attacks Tsipras, Party Split 'Unavoidable' SYRIZA’s left platform attacked Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for not having a Plan B and succumbing to creditors’ demands to sign a deal that goes against party policy. With several SYRIZA MPs stating that they will vote against the second set of reforms on Wednesday, cohesion within the party is a thing of the past.
July 30, 2015: The Left and the euro: liquidate, rebuild, Frédéric Lordon To those people, sincerely of the Left, who have so long refused to see what an impasse the euro represents, as they foster the illusion of an improbable ‘balance of forces’ whose configuration could possibly be changed.
July 29, 2015: Will the Greek Left Unite to Oppose Austerity? Dr. Panagiotis Sotiris, member of Antarsya, talks to Dimitri Lascaris about Syriza's failure to implement its anti-austerity program and the political options that are now available to the left in Greece.
July 29, 2015: What Greece Could Do Greece could ease the crisis by establishing control over its central bank. Here’s how.
July 29, 2015: Grexit, De Long and the wages of Sinn Now that the dust has settled (for a while) in Greece, mainstream economics has been reconsidering what went wrong with Greece and what the best solution would have been. And it now it seems that both main wings of the mainstream: neoclassical, neoliberal Austerians on one side; and Keynesian on the other side, agree. Grexit would have been and still is the best solution.
July 29, 2015: The Greek Warrior On July 4th, the night before a referendum asked the Greek people to decide how far their debt-ridden government should accommodate the demands of its main creditors, Yanis Varoufakis, the country’s minister of finance, sat outdoors at an Athens restaurant, wearing a T-shirt with an outline of Texas on the front.
July 29, 2015: Why the Greek government had to accept the EU's austerity plan Greece versus Germany - It is being called Europe's Civil War. After a defiant stand against austerity measures, the Greek government has finally buckled. But at what cost to Greece? And to the whole notion of a United States of Europe.
July 28, 2015: The Greek Government supports the policy of Israel! The official visit to Israel of the Minister of Defense of Greece of ultra-rightwing, Panos Kammenos, on Sunday 19 July shows the dangerous stance of the Greek Government of the SYRIZA-ANEL parties.
July 28, 2015: Greece, the Sacrificial Lamb AS the Greek crisis proceeds to its next stage, Germany, Greece and the triumvirate of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission (now better known as the troika) have all faced serious criticism. While there is plenty of blame to share, we shouldn’t lose sight of what is really going on.
July 28, 2015: Dreaming in Technicolour It was inevitable that the final deal struck between the Syriza government and the Eurogroup should be the subject of intense debate and controversy in the international left. Indeed given what the agreement contained it would be alarming if that were not the case.
July 27, 2015: Varoufakis claims had approval to plan parallel banking system Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, Kathimerini has learned.
July 27, 2015: The Syriza Dilemma What would constructive pressure on the Syriza government look like?
July 27, 2015: Which plan for the Left government in Greece after the new memorandum?, Gal Kirn There has been much talk about three possible plans for the future of Greece: PLAN A (the continuation of Memoranda politics), PLAN B (exit from Euro), PLAN C (strengthening local cooperatives and subsistence economies, empowering communities). It has to be clear that these plans are not mutually exclusive, but could form at least demarcatory grounds for future strategy and popular mobilisation.
July 26, 2015: Greece: The Road Forward As If the Planet and People Matter, Kamran Nayeri This essay critically examines policy proposals for dealing with the Greek crisis by the troika, the SYRIZA-led coalition government, and the Greek left from the perspective of addressing the root-causes of the crisis in such a way that empowers and improves the lives of the Greek working people and help to resolve the planetary crisis.
July 26, 2015: What SYRIZA must not become In the aftermath of the parliamentary vote in favor of the new Memorandum negotiated by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the left wing inside the ruling SYRIZA party has been organizing a challenge, demanding that the party remain committed to its declarations at its founding congress and during the January election campaign that the austerity measures accepted as a condition of Greece's bailout must be overturned.
July 25, 2015: A view from Athens: Greece's shell-shocked left A few weeks ago, I wagered a souvlaki with a fellow teacher at the school in Athens where I teach history that Greece’s Syriza government would sell out and that there would be no Grexit. I’ve still yet to enjoy what most people here consider to be the healthiest and most delicious fast food on the planet.
July 25, 2015: Why I've Changed My Mind About Grexit Daniel Munevar is a 30-year-old post-Keynesian economist from Bogotá, Colombia. From March to July 2015 he worked as a close aide to former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, advising him on issues of fiscal policy and debt sustainability. He was previously fiscal advisor to the Ministry of Finance of Colombia.
July 24, 2015: If we abandon the ideal of European unity, the only winner will be neoliberalism Has the British left suddenly discovered that the EU supports neoliberalism? You would think so given the reaction of many to recent Greek events. Owen Jones is only the most high profile of several leftist commentators to have jumped to the conclusion that the Troika’s treatment of Greece necessitates the formation of a ‘left campaign’ for a British exit in the forthcoming referendum.
July 24, 2015: The Greek Debacle The Greek crisis has provoked a predictable mixture of indignation and self-satisfaction in Europe, alternatively lamenting the harshness of the settlement imposed on Athens or celebrating the last-minute retention of Greece within the European family, or both at once. Each is as futile as the other. A realistic analysis has no place for either.
July 24, 2015: The Brussels diktat: and what followed Alexis Tsipras won the battle on a question of principle - the need for a new Europe - even if he lost the war that ensued. What are the implications for the Greek left and for Europe?
July 23, 2015: The Great Greek Bank Drama, Act II: The Heist The banks are re-opening, though just for transactions, so people can pay their bills and their taxes, pay in cheques, that kind of thing. The cash withdrawal limit has been changed to a weekly limit of 420 EUR per card per person, enabling households to manage their cash flow better.
July 23, 2015: One solution: leave the euro It is an immense expression of defiance in the face of Greece’s creditor institutions. But this referendum should not be just one moment of dignity: it has to be the beginning of the rupture with the Eurozone.
July 22, 2015: Europe's Vindictive Privatization Plan for Greece On July 12, the summit of eurozone leaders dictated its terms of surrender to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who, terrified by the alternatives, accepted all of them. One of those terms concerned the disposition of Greece’s remaining public assets.
July 22, 2015: The struggle for the soul of SYRIZA After a rebellion in parliament against Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' surrender to European Union authorities, leftists in the ruling SYRIZA party are demanding a new course--even as Tsipras purges the left from his cabinet.
July 22, 2015: Ending the Humanitarian Crisis Greece continues to be in flux. On July 5, the Greek people went to the polls and voted over 60% against austerity. One week later, the Greek government agreed to a new memorandum in principle after an all-night negotiation that was described at times as “mental water-boarding.”
July 22, 2015: Three Myths Behind the Case for Grexit Greece faces a stark choice: either to compromise on the terms laid down by its international creditors and thereby remain in the eurozone or reject any compromise on the terms and exit the eurozone.
July 21, 2015: What's in the new Memorandum? "A list of atrocities." That is how the German magazine Der Spiegel described the new agreement. "Tsipras submitted to 'mental waterboarding'" read the headline of the Guardian. Tsipras was like "a beaten dog" in Brussels, according to Bloomberg
July 21, 2015: Alexis Tsipras' Anti-Politics By voting for a new memorandum, the government and the majority of Syriza’s parliamentary caucus have not just said farewell to left politics but to politics altogether. By making this choice, they have not only disposed of Syriza’s program, or the commitments the government made to the Greek people.
July 21, 2015, Bullet No. #1124: The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area, John Milios After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union (EU) and the Euro-area (EA). Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
July 20, 2015: Three myths behind the case for Grexit If Greece left the euro it would trigger a crisis that could “dwarf” current problems in the country, according to City University London academic Professor Photis Lysandrou.
July 20, 2015: Syriza Was In A Lose-Lose Situation It wasn’t a deal, it was a rape. And the consent was acquired in a criminal manner. Alexis Tsipras has said correctly that it was done with a knife to its throat. That’s very customary for this kind of thing.
July 20, 2015: Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Can Be Annulled The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made - by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.
July 20, 2015, Bullet No. #1147: What Next in the Greek Crisis?, Barry Finger If the ongoing standoff between the Syriza government and the Troika could be boiled down to its essentials, it would be this: The 'institutions' will only equip the Greek economy with enough operating funds to manage a bare-bones operation. And they will begrudgingly accede to this only if Syriza maintains a primary surplus and the neoliberal labour market reforms that the Troika judges necessary to keep the Greek economy, and other eurozone economies, competitive in the global market.
July 19, 2015: The Systemic Crisis of Financialization Costas Lapavitsas has done research in the political economy of money and finance, the Japanese economy, the history of economic thought, economic history, and the contemporary world economy. This presentation was recorded in Toronto, 3 March 2014.
July 19, 2015: Majority of Syriza central committee reject austerity deal The 12th of July in Brussels, a coup took place in Brussels which demonstrated that the goal of the European leaders was to inflict an exemplary punishment on a people which had envisioned another path, different from the neoliberal model of extreme austerity. It is a coup directed against any notion of democracy and popular sovereignty.
July 19, 2015: The crucifixion of Greece is killing the European project You couldn’t have had a clearer demonstration of what democracy now counts for in Europe than this week’s immolation of Greece. In January, after five years of grinding austerity imposed by the troika of creditors had shrunk its economy by a quarter and pushed millions into poverty, Greeks rebelled and elected an anti-austerity government.
July 19, 2015: Dr Schäuble's Plan for Europe On 15th July 2015 Die Zeit published this piece. Here is the original English language version. The reason five months of negotiations between Greece and Europe led to impasse is that Dr Schäuble was determined that they would.
July 19, 2015: The Other Greek Left On a Greek left dominated by Syriza and the Communist Party, Antarsya is often overlooked. Where did the organization come from and where is it going? by Sebastian Budgen and Panagiotis Sotiris.
July 19, 2015, Bullet No. #1146: Greece: Alternatives and Exiting the Eurozone, Eric Toussaint On 5 July 2015, by a referendum initiated by the government of Alexis Tsipras and the Hellenic Parliament, the Greek people overwhelmingly rejected the austerity measures imposed by the institutions that were known as the Troika. It was a splendid victory for democracy.
July 18, 2015: Greece: A People Betrayed This week Tariq Ali talks about the fast-moving events surrounding the Greek political crisis; the democratic referendum, and how the Greek leaders betrayed hope and surrendered as EU celebrated its kill.
July 18, 2015: Greece: will third bailout stick? Paul Mason explains Greece's tough third bailout package as the cogs of its economy start to turn again. He meets a doctor whose hospital has had its budget slashed from €19 million to €7 million and who says the deal is 'a crime against humanity'.
July 18, 2015: New battle lines drawn in Greece The post-referendum political turmoil has reset the political situation in Greece. On one hand, the betrayal of the 61 per cent who voted against the 26 June draft agreement has undone the pre-referendum momentum. The working class again has been demobilised.
July 18, 2015: The False Greek Dilemma What might have happened had Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gone to Brussels with a serious and innovative proposal based on a solution outlined by Bernard Lietaer? What if he had gone with a plan that could address the threat of Grexit with its danger of global financial fallout and also propose a viable way to repay the debt based on a monetary approach proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) research department?
July 17, 2015: Jürgen Habermas's verdict on the EU/Greece debt deal The Greek debt deal announced on Monday morning is damaging both in its result and the way in which it was reached. First, the outcome of the talks is ill-advised. Even if one were to consider the strangulating terms of the deal the right course of action, one cannot expect these reforms to be enacted by a government which by its own admission does not believe in the terms of the agreement.
July 17, 2015: Greece, Europe, and the United States The full brutality of the European position on Greece emerged last weekend, when Europe’s leaders rejected the Greek surrender document of June 9, and insisted instead on unconditional surrender plus reparations. The new diktat—formally accepted by Greece yesterday—requires 50 billion euros’ worth of “good assets”–which incidentally do not exist—to be transferred to a privatization fund;
July 17, 2015: This Is How Quickly Greece's Future Is Deteriorating Some time ago University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales wrote about a "horrifying joke" he heard from his colleagues that asked, "What's the difference between Japan and Greece?" The punchline was "three years." Now, even that seems too long.
July 17, 2015: European Capitalism Today: Between the Euro and the Third Way, Greg Albo and Alan Zuege Since the late 1970s, Western Europe's Golden Age of economic growth has plainly ended. "Euro-pessimism," "euro-sclerosis," and "euro-stagnation" were just a few of the epitaphs written for Europe at the end of the twentieth century.
July 17, 2015: We need a Plan B: for another Europe, for all of Europe! After five months of negotiations conducted in an authoritarian and arrogant manner, 18 heads of state and government of the Euro-group under the leadership of Germany’s finance minister, have forced an agreement on Greece’s democratically elected government that contradicts SYRIZA’s electoral programme and negates the results of the July 5 referendum.
July 17, 2015: Spain's Podemos: We Stand With Syriza Spain's leftist party Podemos said Thursday it will support Greece's bailout deal with the troika, after previously slamming the agreement. “It's sad, this is the only thing we can do,” Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias told Spain's El Diario newspaper.
July 17, 2015: The Defeat of SYRIZA and its Implications for the Irish Left The EU has enforced a humiliating surrender on Greece. The Syriza government that was elected to end austerity has been forced to implement it. The meaning of Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister’s infamous phrase ‘we can’t possibly allow an election to change anything’ is now clear.
July 17, 2015: The End of Europe From a European perspective, the financial meltdown of 2008 was the prologue of a full-scale, continent-wide crisis. The US-made financial debacle triggered a complex chain of unexpected events throughout the old continent, contaminating all spheres of social life and resulting in a radically new landscape plagued by political and economic crisis.
July 17, 2015, Bullet No. #1145: The Real Plan B: The New Greek Marathon, Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch In the face of being excluded from desperately needed funds and the threat of being kicked out of the European Union, the Greek parliament has now voted to accept the Troika memorandum. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged -- unlike social democrats choosing to implement neoliberalism as part of their ‘modernization‘ -- that this was ‘a bad deal’ forced on the Greeks.
July 16, 2015: Depicting Europe An epiphany is beguiling Europe. Far from dwindling in historical significance, the Old World is about to assume an importance for humanity it has never, in all its days of dubious past glory, before possessed. At the end of Postwar, his 800-page account of the continent since 1945...
July 16, 2015: A New Versailles Treaty is Haunting Europe In the next hours and days, I shall be sitting in Parliament to assess the legislation that is part of the recent Euro Summit agreement on Greece. I am also looking forward to hearing in person from my comrades, Alexis Tsipras and Euclid Tsakalotos, who have been through so much over the past few days.
July 16, 2015: EMU brutality in Greece has destroyed the trust of Europe's Left The EU establishment henceforth faces what it has always feared: a political war on two fronts at once. It is long been fighting an expanding coaltion of free marketeers, parliamentary "souverainistes", anti-immigrant populists on the Right.
July 16, 2015: Saving Greece, Saving Europe Whatever one thinks about the tactics of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government in negotiations with the country’s creditors, the Greek people deserve better than what they are being offered. Germany wants Greece to choose between economic collapse and leaving the eurozone. Both options would mean economic disaster; the first, if not both, would be politically disastrous as well.
July 16, 2015: Defiance against the parliament's surrender Amid A public-sector workers' general strike and large demonstrations in Athens and other cities, Greece's parliament voted to accept the European authorities' demands for drastic new austerity measures, with members of traditional parties helping Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to survive a rebellion of left-wing representatives from the radical left party SYRIZA.
July 16, 2015: Europe's Insane Deal With Greece If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, the leaders of Europe and Greece are insane. After a 17-hour summit, Europe's leaders have reached a deal.
July 16, 2015: Protests in Syntagma Square Footage of the protest during the vote in Parliament for the adoption of the 3rd Memorandum (15.7.2015)
July 16, 2015: Greek MPs pass austerity bill as Athens police clash with protesters Five years into the worst crisis to hit their country in decades, Greek MPs voted by a large majority in the early hours of Thursday morning to accept draconian austerity as the price of further bailout funds but at great personal cost to prime minister Alexis Tsipras.
July 16, 2015: The euro or the drachma? The devastating debt crisis in Greece is raising a new question: What if Greece has to abandon the euro as its currency, in spite of the financial bailouts carried out by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund--known collectively as the "troika." What would a return to the drachma mean for the people of Greece who have endured harsh austerity as a cost of the troika's "rescues.
July 16, 2015: The IMF position on Greece - explained A brutal assessment of the bailout terms facing Athens by the International Monetary Fund calls for substantial debt relief for a further 30 years.
July 16, 2015: Plan C for Advancing the Commons Transition in Greece Plan A is the name for the capitulation toward the demands of the creditors; plan B is the Grexit which offers Greece an independent path within the same economic logic; plan C stands for a Commons Transition, which can take place either under conditions laid out by Plan A or Plan B, but which could become the main strategy under conditions of a revival of popular power and democracy.
July 16, 2015, Bullet No. #1144: Understanding the Defeat Means Preparing a Victory, Blockupy Goes Athens Nine provisional considerations after both the popular Oxi and Syriza's Yes to the Memorandum. This is being written after the vote in the Greek parliament and before the final decision of the Eurogroup (12 July). At the moment, everything is open, and we are certain of only a couple of things. Almost everything can change, but some things will remain true.
July 15, 2015: Greece: The Struggle Continues The latest agreement between the Syriza government and the creditors shocked many on the Left who have been following events in Greece. It seems to signal the end of a whole political cycle. In this interview with Jacobin contributing editor Sebastian Budgen, Stathis Kouvelakis, a leading member of the Left Platform in the party covers the latest sequence, to what extent expectations have been confirmed or disproved, and the next steps for the radical wing of the party.
July 15, 2015: A Soft Coup in Greece Nantina Vgontzas says the deal was a capitulation but the left is not defeated.
July 15, 2015: Decoding the IMF: Greek deal doomed, exit likely, Paul Mason It's easy to get drawn in to the detail. I spent some of yesterday in the hot corridors of the Greek parliament where the various factions and groupings within Syriza, the radical left party, were working out their postures on today's vote. No to the rescue deal, says the left. Abstain, say others.
July 15, 2015: SYRIZA leaders against the coup In a statement issued on Wednesday, July 15, 109 of the 201 members of the Central Committee of SYRIZA took a position against the Greek government and the European creditors, calling it "a new Memorandum, with onerous and humiliating terms." The statement came as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was pressuring parliament to meet the ultimatum of the European authorities.
July 15, 2015: Striking Greek civil servants march against bailout reforms Hundreds of protesters gather in Athens on Wednesday to demonstrate against the latest bailout proposal, as civil servants announce a 24-hour strike. The new bailout agreement is conditional on the Greek government passing a number of reform laws.
July 15, 2015: EU referendum: why the Left needs to campaign for a No vote The central institutions of the European Union have imposed draconian austerity on a country already half-broken by years of spiraling debt repayments and economic restructuring. They have shown utter contempt for the well being and the opinions of the people of Greece.
July 15, 2015: Saving Greece, Saving Europe Whatever one thinks about the tactics of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government in negotiations with the country’s creditors, the Greek people deserve better than what they are being offered. Germany wants Greece to choose between economic collapse and leaving the eurozone. Both options would mean economic disaster; the first, if not both, would be politically disastrous as well.
July 15, 2015: Greece needs debt relief far beyond EU plans Greece will need far bigger debt relief than euro zone partners have been prepared to envisage so far due to the devastation of its economy and banks in the last two weeks, a confidential study by the International Monetary Fund seen by Reuters shows.
July 15, 2015: Greece needs our solidarity, in or out of the euro Regardless of the result of the latest round of negotiations between the SYRIZA-led government of Greece and the heads of the 28 members of the European Union, one thing is certain: in coming years, the Greek people are going to need all possible solidarity because their struggles and sufferings are bound to continue.
July 15, 2015: They have created a desert and called it Europe The Syriza government has made a total surrender on every single point it was elected on, back in January. The deal, agreed in principle late last night by the Eurozone finance ministers, commits Greece to deepening austerity over the next three years, breaking every "red line" it maintained in negotiations.
July 15, 2015: Fear Takes Root in Syriza Fear is a powerful human emotion. Fear of the unknown surely played a significant part in Syriza’s humiliating climbdown and surrender of what national sovereignty had remained to Greece. Fear is a powerful emotion if consenting to become a colony, agreeing to sell off your country and further immiserating millions is a preferable option to taking back your independence.
July 15, 2015: IMF Demands Greece Debt Relief as Condition for Bailout The International Monetary Fund threatened to withdraw support for Greece's bailout on Tuesday unless European leaders agree to substantial debt relief, an immediate challenge to the region’s plan to rescue the country. The aggressive stance sets up a standoff with Germany and other eurozone creditors, which have been reluctant to provide additional debt relief. The I.M.F role is considered crucial for any bailout, not only to provide funding but also to supervise Greece’s compliance with the terms.
July 15, 2015, Bullet No. #1143: The Denouement, Leo Panitch For many decades, the view was widespread on the left that there was a distinct European variety of capitalism which could be positively contrasted with the Anglo-American more 'free market' variety. The labour movements of northern Europe were usually seen as being the decisive force behind greater state economic involvement, more capitalist cooperation with unions, and more egalitarian social welfare and labour market regimes.
July 14, 2015: New memorandum seals destruction for Greece, claims Syriza's Left Platform The new bailout agreement signed by Alexis Tsipras is a humiliation for Greece, says an editorial in Iskra website which reflects the views of Syriza’s hardliners. The article says that the agreement reestablishes and extends the guardianship of the Troika and seals “social enslavement”.
July 14, 2015, Bullet No. #1142: Lessons From A Defeat In Europe, Martin Hart-Landsberg The Troika are celebrating the end of negotiations with Greece, proclaiming that thanks to their tireless efforts the Eurozone remains whole. And why wouldn't they celebrate. They have demonstrated their power to crush, at least for now, the Greek effort to end austerity and its associated devastating social consequences. Tragically, Syriza has not only surrendered, the nature of its defeat is likely to leave the country worse off, at least both economically and very likely politically as well.
July 14, 2015: Greece crisis talks: the July weekend that saved the euro but broke the EU? For all the leaders involved, the past two days in Brussels will be hailed as the 48 hours that saved the euro. For many others from the Balkans to the Baltic, the brutal power plays pitting European leaders one against the other will signal instead the great damage being done to the single currency.
July 14, 2015: Yanis Varoufakis opens up about his five month battle to save Greece, Harry Lambert Greece has finally reached an agreement with its creditors. The specifics have not yet been published, but it is clear that the deal signed is more punitive and demanding than the one that its government has spent the past five months desperately trying to resist. The accord follows 48 hours in which Germany demanded control of Greece’s finances or its withdrawal from the euro. Many observers across Europe were stunned by the move.
July 14, 2015: Greece wins euro debt deal - but democracy is the loser After an all-night negotiation during which Greek prime minister was subjected, according to one observer, to “mental waterboarding”, there is the basis of a deal to keep Greece in the euro. As I write, the Greek side do not have a document, but we have some details.
July 14, 2015: Grexit: The staggering cost of central bank dependence The ECB has decided to maintain its current level of emergency liquidity to Greece. By refusing to extend additional emergency liquidity, the ECB has decided that Greece must leave the Eurozone. This may be a legal necessity or a political judgement call, or both. Anyway, it raises a host of unpleasant questions about the treatment of a member country and about the independence of the central bank.
July 14, 2015: Tsipras Sells Betrayal of His Campaign Promises to Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who came to office six months ago pledging to end austerity and restore “dignity” to the Greek people, now plans to sell an onerous bailout deal at home by arguing it could have been much worse.
July 14, 2015: Greek Capitulation Reveals Deep Conflicts Within the Eurozone For the past two weeks, life in Greece has been balancing precariously on a political pendulum swinging violently from one extreme to the other. Between bank runs and mass mobilizations, heroic victories and inglorious defeats, financial blackmail and popular defiance, the future of this small country – and of the entire currency union of which it is a part – still hangs in the balance.
July 14, 2015: Alexis Tsipras: Hero, Traitor, Hero, Traitor, Hero It is revealing of the political landscape in Europe - indeed, the world - that everyone's dreams of socialism seemed to rest on the shoulders of the young Prime Minister of a small country. There seemed to be a fervent, irrational, almost evangelical belief that a tiny country, drowning in debt, gasping for liquidity, would somehow (and that somehow is never specified) defeat global capitalism, armed only with sticks and rocks.
July 14, 2015: Eurogroup draft on demands for Greek reforms Euro zone finance ministers meeting in crisis talks in Brussels want Greece to commit to more measures to reform its economic system and government finances before they agree to negotiate a bailout loan.
July 14, 2015: Greece Brought a Latte to a Gunfight The weekend’s European news could not be more extraordinary. A superb opinion piece by Yanis Varafoukas in The Guardian brought everything to a head.
July 13, 2015: Greece crisis: Europe turns the screw The Greeks arrived with a set of proposals widely scorned as “more austere than the ones they rejected”. The internet burst forth with catcalls – “they’ve caved in”. By doing so, however, the Greeks last night revealed the true dysfunctionality of the system they are trying to stay inside.
July 13, 2015: This Eurogroup list of demands is madness Suppose you consider Tsipras an incompetent twerp. Suppose you dearly want to see Syriza out of power. Suppose, even, that you welcome the prospect of pushing those annoying Greeks out of the euro. Even if all of that is true, this Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag #ThisIsACoup is exactly right.
July 13, 2015: Euro Summit statement, 12 July 2015 The Euro Summit stresses the crucial need to rebuild trust with the Greek authorities as a pre-requisite for a possible future agreement on a new ESM programme. In this context, the ownership by the Greek authorities is key, and successful implementation should follow policy commitments.
July 13, 2015: Text of the Euro Summit Statement on Greece The text of the final conclusions from the summit of 19 eurozone leaders that began on Sunday afternoon and ended on Monday morning with a deal on Greece's debt crisis.
July 13, 2015: Nο to ultimatums, Nο to the Memoranda of servitude The speech delivered early in the morning of July 11 by Zoe Konstantopoulou, president of the Greek parliament, on the question of the government’s proposal to the creditor institutions: Ladies and gentlemen, at times like these we must act and speak with binding sincerity and political boldness. We must assume the responsibility that falls to each and every one of us.
July 13, 2015: Eurozone crisis: which countries are for or against Grexit As emergency talks drag on, the prospect of Greece tumbling out of the currency union is dividing Europe like never before. After five years of battling to keep Greece in the eurozone, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is now warning that there cannot be a deal at any cost.
July 13, 2015, Bullet No. #1140: Treating Syriza Responsibly, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin As against those on the international left so keen to put the boot in against the Syriza government with the charge that they had abjectly capitulated already with the plan passed in the Greek parliament, it is instructive to read this document from the German finance ministry.
July 13, 2015: Grexit: The staggering cost of central bank dependence The ECB has decided to maintain its current level of emergency liquidity to Greece (ECB 2015). By refusing to extend additional emergency liquidity, the ECB has decided that Greece must leave the Eurozone.
July 13, 2015: Against rationalisation This piece by Leo Panitch probably isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already share the predicates of the Tsipras-Tsakalotos euro-realist line. Indeed, the piece evinces a certain frustration with that fact, evident in the misfiring blunderbuss sarcasm. That's a pity: if you are going to shoot the messenger, you should at least choose a precise weapon.
July 13, 2015: Alexis Tsipras: We decided to prevent a political Grexit with an economic pretext We have reached a critical juncture and, perhaps, you will allow me to take a more personal tone today. Since being elected Prime Minister. In these times that are even more critical than those of the country's post-dictatorship history. I've been guided solely by my conscience, to defend our people's just demands and national interests.
July 13, 2015: Open Letter to anti-Greek Eastern European bloc Dr.Zoltan Pogatsa believes that the Eurozone states of the former Eastern bloc have been duped by the major powers into firmly opposing Greece. They are being led to believe that Athens is damaging to their economies. It's all a deception, the Hungarian professional of political economy argues, as Eastern Eurozone members money never actually went to Greece, but to Brussels, in order to support the euro.
July 12, 2015: Greece Financial Crisis Hits Poorest and Hungriest the Hardest Behind the lace curtains of a soup kitchen run by a parish in the humble Athens neighborhood of Kerameikos, the needy and hungry sit down to a plate of sliced cucumbers, three hunks of bread, a shallow china bowl of chickpea soup and often a piece of meat. Sometimes there is even ice cream, a special treat.
July 12, 2015: Greek government insider: 'We underestimated their power' In this interview with Mediapart, a senior advisor to the Greek government, who has been at the heart of the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its international creditors, reveals the details of what resembles a game of liar’s dice over the fate of a nation that has been brought to its economic and social knees. His account gives a rare and disturbing insight into the process which has led up to this week’s make-or-break deadline.
July 12, 2015: Eurozone talks on Greece need 'a lot more progress' before possible deal Talks aimed at preventing Greece from leaving the eurozone and collapsing into bankruptcy are on a knife-edge amid widespread scepticism from the country’s creditors about whether Athens can deliver on its promises. Finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro were meeting in Brussels on Saturday to discuss Greece’s latest economic reform proposals, but several stressed they were looking for further reassurances.
July 12, 2015: Are we Sure that Tsipras Caved In? Germany did not speak yet, and until then nothing is certain. But it looks like the new Tsipras proposal may turn into an agreement between Greece and its creditors. We'll see what happens in the next days, but I want to make a few remarks. At first sight, this does not look good for Tsipras.
July 12, 2015: We Are Living in the Anti-Europe The Greek crisis has destroyed an old dream about the future of Europe. The only possibility for moving the EU in the direction we were promised is a radical solution -- either a Grexit or an expensive debt haircut.
July 12, 2015: Schaeuble says Greek proposal 'far from sufficient' Arriving at the Eurogroup meeting, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the proposal submitted by Greece for a new bailout programme was "far from being sufficient". He said the figures submitted were "not believable" and that a haircut on Greek debt was not possible, adding he expected "exceptionnally difficult negotiations".
July 12, 2015: Splits widen in Merkel's coalition over proposals for Greek economic reforms Germany’s ruling coalition appears to be deeply split over Greece’s latest reform proposals ahead of a climactic meeting of EU leaders at the weekend. While senior Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, welcomed the list of concessions from the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, members of her own conservative bloc were scathing about Greece’s position.
July 12, 2015: Syriza submits austerity proposal: What now for Greece? There is acrimony and division in Athens, after the Syriza government submitted a revised list of proposals to its creditors. Despite a resounding victory in last Sunday’s referendum for Oxi — the “no” vote rejecting creditor demands that Greece fall in line — the government has presented austerity measures that exceed those previously on the table.
July 12, 2015, Bullet No. #1139: Requiem at an Empty Grave? Syriza's Momentous Day, Leo Panitch Did those who are already raising Lenin from his tomb to render quick judgement on Syriza's abject “world-historic defeat” (without saying much about what victory would look like or require) actually bother to read the rather similar plans that Syriza put forward before the referendum and that were consistently rejected by the EU and IMF “Institutions”?
July 12, 2015: Tsipras rattled his sabre until it was blunt - and for what? Part tragedy. Part farce. No happy ending. The final stages of the Greek drama have begun. The tragedy is that there is no end in sight to the suffering of the Greek people. They have seen their country’s economy shrink by 25% in five years and it was already back in recession when the banks closed their doors two weeks ago.
July 12, 2015: Syriza. Defeat. Victory. Defeat. It is gut-wrenching, watching Syriza beg, and plead with the creditors not to crush Greece. Too late did they realise that they weren't negotiating. They had nothing to do negotiate with, no cards to play. They went looking for the 'good euro', and found only ruthless, mercenary capitalist enforcers.
July 12, 2015: Germany won't spare Greek pain - it has an interest in breaking us Greece’s financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief. Why, against common sense, against the IMF’s verdict and against the everyday practices of bankers facing stressed debtors, do they resist a debt restructure? The answer cannot be found in economics because it resides deep in Europe’s labyrinthine politics.
July 12, 2015: Behind Germany's refusal to grant Greece debt relief Greece’s financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief. Why, against common sense, against the IMF’s verdict and against the everyday practices of bankers facing stressed debtors, do they resist a debt restructure? The answer cannot be found in economics because it resides deep in Europe’s labyrinthine politics.
July 11, 2015: Debate Rages in SYRIZA Over Austerity Plan During the early hours of Saturday morning, the Greek Parliament passed the motion by a majority vote of 250 - 300, but Dimitri Lascaris says this is one of the worst political debacles in modern European history.
July 11, 2015: What was the point of Tsipras referendum? The new Greek government proposals, published late last night are clearly based on those submitted by Jean Claude Juncker last Thursday, before the referendum. It’s left many Greeks frustrated, asking: what was the point of the referendum? It’s left many foreign observers saying the same.
July 11, 2015: Tsipras Has Just Destroyed Greece This post’s headline comes from an assessment by the Australian website MacroBusiness of the proposal that Greece submitted to its creditors in the wee hours of the morning in Europe. Greece has capitulated, offering to implement more stringent austerity terms than those rejected by voters last weekend by a resounding margin in the Greek referendum. We are posting the full text of the Greek proposal at the end of this post.
July 11, 2015: From the Absurd to the Tragic Anyone living through, or even just following, developments in Greece knows all too well the meaning of expressions such as “critical moments,” “climate of tension,” “dramatic overturn,” and “pressing on the limits.” With developments since Monday, some new vocabulary will have to be added to the list: the “absurd.”
July 11, 2015: The Alternative to Austerity, The Left Platform of Syriza In this critical moment, the Syriza government has no other choice than to reject the blackmail of the 'institutions' who seek to impose an austerity program, deregulation, and privatization.
July 11, 2015: Greece Reform Proposals: June vs. July Greek voters just rejected one set of bailout proposals. What's the difference this time around? Greece’s reform proposals are strikingly similar to the ones Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected at a referendum only earlier this week. Yet, there are a few differences, some crucial and others less substantial.
July 10, 2015: The EU mob seeks revenge against Greece Lee Sustar explains why the European authorities and International Monetary Fund are determined to keep squeezing Greece despite the momentous "no" vote.
July 10, 2015: Greece is solvent but illiquid: Policy implications The issue of restructuring of the Greek debt is at the centre of the negotiations about how to resolve the Greek crisis. Since the start of that crisis the Greek sovereign debt has been subjected to several restructuring efforts.
July 10, 2015: A Pain in the Athens: Why Greece Isn't to Blame for the Crisis When the anti-austerity party Syriza came to power in Greece in January 2015, Cornel Ban and I wrote in a Foreign Affairs article that, at some point, Europe was bound to face an Alexis Tsipras, the party’s leader and Greek prime minister, “because there’s only so long you can ask people to vote for impoverishment today based on promises of a better tomorrow that never arrives.”
July 10, 2015: Greece: Prior Actions Policy Commitments and Actions to be taken in consultation with EC/ECB/IMF staff.
July 10, 2015: Greece sends reform plan to EU, sets parliament vote The Greek government sent a package of reform proposals to its euro zone creditors on Thursday in a race to win new funds to avert bankruptcy and will seek a parliamentary vote on Friday to endorse immediate actions.
July 10, 2015: Lafazanis says government will not accept third austerity package Greece is striving to reach an agreement with international creditors but does not want a “third memorandum that will bring harsh austerity, suffering and deprivation to the Greek people,” Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis told a conference on Thursday.
July 10, 2015: This is a chance for Europe to awaken The unexpectedly strong No in the Greek referendum was a historical vote, cast in a desperate situation. In my work I often use the well-known joke from the last decade of the Soviet Union about Rabinovitch, a Jew who wants to emigrate.
July 9, 2015: Greece debt crisis: Athens accepts harsh austerity as bailout deal nears The Greek government capitulated on Thursday to demands from its creditors for severe austerity measures in return for a modest debt write-off, raising hopes that a rescue deal could be signed at an emergency meeting of EU leaders on Sunday. Athens is understood to have put forward a package of reforms and public spending cuts worth €13bn (£9.3bn) to secure a third bailout from creditors that could raise $50bn and allow it to stay inside the currency union.
July 9, 2015: Europe's 'leaders' have learnt nothing The splendid fellows who run the eurozone and the EU have learnt nothing from the Greek referendum. I include Hollande, Renzi and others who are reportedly for a less confrontational line.
July 9, 2015: Calm defiance giving way to panic as Greek deadline looms I sat last night with a Greek family and their friends as they heard the news that the Eurozone’s leaders had given a final ultimatum. A deal by Saturday or a specially convened EU summit to prepare for the collapse of the banking system, expulsion from the Eurozone and a “humanitarian aid” package to deal with the inevitable food riots, premature deaths and state failure.
July 9, 2015: Saving Greece, saving Europe: the unnecessary crisis, Peter G. Prontzos Is it fair to condemn the people of a country to economic misery because of the sins of their leaders, especially when the problems are also the result of global political and economic forces beyond their control? More specifically, should that nation's legitimate debts be forgiven? What kind of example would that set?
July 9, 2015: Greece is the latest battleground in the financial elite's war on democracy Greece may be financially bankrupt, but the troika is politically bankrupt. Those who persecute this nation wield illegitimate, undemocratic powers, powers of the kind now afflicting us all. Consider the International Monetary Fund. The distribution of power here was perfectly stitched up: IMF decisions require an 85% majority, and the US holds 17% of the votes.
July 9, 2015: Leaked: Greece's new bailout request letter Greek authorities got their final dash to find a bailout agreement before the weekend formally underway on Wednesday by submitting a simple one-page request to the eurozone’s €500bn bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, for a new three-year programme.
July 9, 2015: Greece Commits to Repay IMF, Tones Down Debt Relief Rhetoric Days after missing debt payments to the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government said it intends to clear its arrears, as it sought additional funds from the euro area. “Greece is committed to honor its financial obligations to all its creditors in a full and timely manner,” the government said in a letter to the European Stability Mechanism, asking for a new three-year loan from the currency bloc’s crisis fighting fund.
July 9, 2015, Bullet No. #1138: The European Union's Crisis of Legitimacy and The Greek Referendum, Donatella della Porta For some time now social movements have expressed their support for another Europe. Their almost unanimous support for a NO vote in the Greek referendum on the proposals of the Troika, says much about the repeatedly frustrated hopes of constructing a social Europe from below. Indeed, the protests against austerity have established, ever more clearly and explicitly, that the evolution of Europe is going in the opposite direction.
July 8, 2015: Nudelman's New War, Nuland's Nemesis A putsch in Athens to save allied Greece from enemy Russia is in preparation by the US and Germany, with backing from the non-taxpayers of Greece – the Greek oligarchs, Anglo-Greek shipowners, and the Greek Church. At the highest and lowest level of Greek government, and from Thessaloniki to Milvorni, all Greeks understand what is happening. Yesterday they voted overwhelmingly to resist. According to a high political figure in Athens, a 40-year veteran, “what is actually happening is a slow process of regime change.”
July 8, 2015: The 'no' victory and the struggles ahead The world's spotlight is on Greece today following the landslide victory against austerity in last weekend's national referendum on the plan of the political leaders and financial officials of Europe to impose even more misery and suffering on a country that has been plunged into a deep economic crisis.
July 8, 2015: The last years of Neoliberalism: Greece rejects Austerity No has won in Greece. Austerity has been decisively rejected, with 61% of voters backing the Syriza-led government against the Troika. It is difficult to overstate the scale of the victory. The odds looked impossible; indeed, bookmakers Paddy Power had paid out on a Yes victory earlier in the week.
July 7, 2015: Greece says no to austerity and yes to solidarity Greece voted "no" by a landslide margin against the blackmailers of Europe in a referendum on whether the government, led by the radical left party SYRIZA, should accept further drastic austerity measures on top of those that have plunged the economy deeper into crisis over the past five years.
July 7, 2015: Minister No More!, Yanis Varoufakis Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup's 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution - to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.
July 7, 2015: EuroZone Profiteers: How German and French Banks Helped Bankrupt Greece Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece, has called a national referendum this Sunday to call the bluff of the European Union and International Monetary Fund who are trying to force his country to accept severe austerity in return for effectively rolling over much of the countries’ debt.
July 7, 2015: We Are Living in the Anti-Europe The Greek crisis has destroyed an old dream about the future of Europe. The only possibility for moving the EU in the direction we were promised is a radical solution -- either a Grexit or an expensive debt haircut.
July 7, 2015: Greece and the political capture of the IMF When governments borrow too much, and cannot repay, it generally falls to the IMF to sort things out. In playing this role, the IMF should be pretty tough on creditors. As Interfluidity so lucidly points out, this is where real moral hazard lies.
July 7, 2015: The Greek referendum and the tasks of the Left For six months, after its January 2015 election victory, the SYRIZA government began negotiations with the EU. In these negotiations SYRIZA was confronted with the stubborn and increasing intransigence of EU and its companion institutions (the ECB and the IMF). SYRIZA very soon accepted the logic and the structure of the troika program; that is the Economic Adjustment Program for Greece popularly called the Memorandum.
July 7, 2015: Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe! On the 25th of January, dignity was restored to the people of Greece. In the five months that intervened since then, we became the first government that dared raise its voice, speaking on behalf of the people, saying NO to the damaging irrationality of our extend-and-pretend ‘Bailout Program’.
July 7, 2015: Defiant Greeks reject EU demands as Syriza readies IOU currency Greek voters have rejected the austerity demands of Europe's creditor powers by a stunning margin, sweeping aside warnings that this could lead to the collapse of the banking system and a return to the drachma. Early returns in the historic referendum showed the No side (Oxi in Greek) running at 61pc versus 39pc for the Yes side as the Greek people turned out en masse to vent their anger.
July 7, 2015: Greece and Spain helped postwar Germany recover Sixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany's debt. That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war. It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt.
July 6, 2015: Greece: What You are not Being Told by the Media According to mainstream media, the current economic crisis in Greece is due to the government spending too much money on its people that it went broke. This claim however, is a lie. It was the banks that wrecked the country so oligarchs and international corporations could benefit
July 6, 2015: Minister No More! And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride. We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government. The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.
July 6, 2015: A Way Out for Greece The Greek crisis is a tragedy for the country and a danger for the world economy. Germany is demanding that Greece continue to service its debts in full, even though Greece is clearly broke and the International Monetary Fund has noted the need for debt relief.
July 6, 2015: What Comes After Oxi? There has been a sober sense of determination on the streets of Athens this week, culminating on Friday at the Syntagma rally. Four years after the “indignants” occupied the square, an estimated one hundred thousand gathered again to reaffirm their opposition to austerity and authoritarianism. Crowds poured in from the metro shouting “no,” cheering on the government, and frightening a Yes bloc already on edge.
July 6, 2015: Greece crisis: a failure of economics in the face of politics The IMF’s report yesterday got swamped amid the gloom, despondency and fractiousness of the Greek crisis. It said, in short, Greece’s debt has become unsustainable. Greece needs an extra €50bn now, a twenty-year holiday from its debt repayments and a substantial write off.
July 6, 2015: Greek Referendum July 2015 Results of the referendum: 61 per cent voted No; and 38 per cent voted Yes. All regions of the country in favour of the OXI vote.
July 5, 2015: The Political Crisis in Greece Whatever the outcome of today’s vote, the Greek people can expect no miracles. But they deserve our complete solidarity.
July 5, 2015: Greece's Yanis Varoufakis prepares for economic siege as companies issue private currencies Greece has stockpiled enough reserves of fuel and pharmaceutical supplies to withstand a long siege, and has set aside emergency funding to cover all the country's vitally-needed food imports. Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said the left-Wing Syriza government is still working on the assumption that Europe's creditor powers will return to the negotiating table if the Greek people don't agree to their austerity demands in a referendum on Sunday, but it stands ready to fight unless it secures major debt relief.
July 5, 2015: Syriza can't just cave in It’s now clear that Germany and Europe’s powers that be don’t just want the Greek government to bend the knee. They want regime change. Not by military force, of course – this operation is being directed from Berlin and Brussels, rather than Washington.
July 5, 2015: Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short Greece’s economy is on the brink of collapse after the capital controls imposed ahead of Sunday’s referendum left the country with shortages of food and drugs, the tourist industry facing a wave of cancellations and banks with barely enough money to survive the weekend.
July 5, 2015: The battle for the Referendum in Greece, Savas Michael Matsas More than 200 thousand people assembled in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek Parliament in a tremendous mass rally supporting “No”, in the coming Referendum on July 5 for the ultimatum posed by the EU, the ECB, and the IMF to Greece to accept a new round of measures of social cannibalism or to be evicted from the Euro-zone (the infamous “Grexit”) and then from the EU.
July 5, 2015: Europe's creditor powers must finally face reality The International Monetary Fund lit the touch paper this week on a subject that has inflamed tensions between Greece and its international lenders: debt relief. Three days before Greeks were due to go to the polls to say Yes or No to a now defunct bail-out deal, the IMF released its "debt sustainability analysis" for the country.
July 5, 2015: The Referendum as Rupture The referendum to be held in Greece on Sunday is not a political debate. It is a battle in an ongoing war between Greek society and the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are trying to turn Greece into the most brutal recent experiment in neoliberal social engineering.
July 5, 2015: Europeans tried to block IMF debt report on Greece Eurozone countries tried in vain to stop the IMF publishing a gloomy analysis of Greece's debt burden which the leftist government says vindicates its call to voters to reject bailout terms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.
July 5, 2015: Three rarely -if ever- mentioned facts in the Greek tragedy On January 28, 2015, three days after Syriza’s victory, Mark Carney (head of England’s central bank) said “the eurozone is caught in a debt trap and should ease hardline budget cuts.” Carney further made it clear that he thought the failure to complete the process of integration coupled with over-restrictive fiscal policies risked driving the 18-nation single currency area deeper into a debt trap”. I simply want to point out what he said, and, secondly, that this was rarely repeated again, and not much reported in newspapers generally.
July 4, 2015: Greece's Debt Burden: The Truth Finally Emerges Just when you thought that the Greece saga had run out of plot twists, another one emerged on Thursday—and it was an important one. A few days before a referendum that will probably decide the fate of Greece’s Syriza government, one of the country’s creditors, the International Monetary Fund, came out and acknowledged that the stricken country is unlikely to recover until a good portion of its huge debt load is wiped out.
July 4, 2015: IMF says Greece needs extra €60bn in funds and debt relief The International Monetary Fund has electrified the referendum debate in Greece after it conceded that the crisis-ridden country needs up to €60bn (£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilise the economy.
July 4, 2015: Greece: Only the 'No' Can Save the Euro Greece is heading toward a referendum on Sunday on which the future of the country and its elected government will depend, and with the fate of the euro and the European Union also in the balance. At present writing, Greece has missed a payment to the IMF, negotiations have broken off, and the great and good are writing off the Greek government and calling for a “Yes” vote.
July 4, 2015: Europe has declared war on Greece Even as Tsipras signed the latest set of Greek proposals, the European institutions remained determined to subject him to a genuine humiliation exercise, demanding that he go still further, beyond what he could handle politically: it had become clear that his own party, his parliamentary majority and even a growing part of society were not ready to accept any more concessions.
July 4, 2015: No to fear: Greece's No protest as it happened Rally for the No side this evening -- various different forces calling it -- in Syntagma Square, central Athens. The rally will be big and militant. But please do not over-read the size of it and so on. Our friends on the Greek radical Left were not born yesterday. They know that you do not win a plebiscite by spending time among yourselves talking to the convinced. You win it among the people.
July 4, 2015: The CLC stand in solidarity with the people of Greece On behalf of 3.3 million unionized working people, the Canadian Labour Congress extends its solidarity to the people of Greece. On the eve of Sunday's referendum, the CLC affirms the inalienable right of Greek citizens to democratically decide their political and economic future, which governments and international financial institutions must respect.
July 4, 2015: After Five Years of Devastation I Am Finally Bringing A Message of Solidarity And Hope From Greece Some of you know many aspects of the consequences of the barbaric neoliberal austerity policies that have been imposed on my country. These policies have been imposed by foreign lenders consisting of the European Union Commission, the European Union Central Bank, and the IMF and internally, from the parties that used to rule our country for the last forty decades: the Conservatives and the Social Democrats.
July 4, 2015: Where did the Greek bailout money go? Only a small fraction of the €240bn (£170bn) total bailout money Greece received in 2010 and 2012 found its way into the government’s coffers to soften the blow of the 2008 financial crash and fund reform programmes. Most of the money went to the banks that lent Greece funds before the crash.
July 4, 2015: What is really at stake in the Greek crisis A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of a democratic alternative to austerity. The Syriza government of Greece incarnates that alternative, which is why the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) have allied with the IMF to exorcise the challenge it represents. With few exceptions, political parties of every persuasion have tacitly or actively supported the anti-Syriza coalition.
July 3, 2015: Our responsibility to vote 'NO' in the Greek referendum The decision of the Greek government, late last Friday, to put the proposals of the creditors to referendum caught by surprise even those who, from a grassroots perspective, have been fighting against the murderous austerity in Greece in recent years.
July 3, 2015: Austerity not enough to save Greece - leaked IMF documents Even if Greece accepted all of the austerity measures demanded by its main creditors, the Troika, it still would not be able to make ends meet by 2030, according to IMF estimates revealed in a set of documents obtained by a German newspaper. The most optimistic scenario shows that Greece would face an unsustainable debt in 2030 even if it agreed to the package of tax increases and spending cuts proposed by the European commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF in exchange for a five-month €15.5bn loan from its creditors.
July 3, 2015: Europe's Attack on Greek Democracy The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.
July 3, 2015: The Europe we don't want The Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund have crushed the hopes of a youthful movement that sought to transform a nation and rouse a continent.
July 2, 2015: IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors. The documents, drawn up by the so-called troika of lenders, support Greece’s argument that it needs substantial debt relief for a lasting economic recovery.
July 2, 2015: Greece debt crisis: Tsipras prepares for compromise deal I'm outside the Maximos Mansion in Athens where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is getting ready to stage a climb-down and he will tell them he’s about to accept something very very similar to the conditional bail out he rejected on Friday. And the reason is clear, what six months of political pressure and diplomatic fighting haven’t produced in Europe, five days of financial terror have produced.
July 2, 2015: Greece crisis could be a Sarajevo moment for the eurozone A hundred and one years ago on Sunday, gun shots rang out in a city in southern Europe. Few at the time paid much heed to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife as they drove through the streets of Sarajevo. Within six weeks, however, Europe was at war.
July 2, 2015: Greece's show of defiance The decision by Greece's left-wing government to hold a national referendum on the European authorities' latest proposal for austerity measures has sent political shock waves across the continent.
July 2, 2015: No to Blackmail, Solidarity with the Greek People, Québec solidaire Along with other actions of solidarity with Greece, on the occasion of the referendum in Greece, Québec solidaire, the Solidarity Committee with the Greek People, Alternatives and the Montreal metropolitan Regional Labour Council (FTQ) are organizing this coming Saturday July 4th at 10:45am, a solidarity action in front of the Greek Consulate at 1002 Sherbrooke West in Montreal, corner McTavish, facing McGill University.
July 1, 2015: Greferendum - once upon a time in Europe democracy broke out On July 5 Europeans will witness an extraordinary event. A sitting government will ask its people to decide on a major policy issue that lies outside its electoral mandate. It is difficult to exaggerate the radical nature of the coming referendum in Greece. In January 2015 the Syriza Party platform committed to ending austerity and remaining in the euro zone.
July 1, 2015: Non À L'austérité, La Parole Au Peuple!, Roger Rashi Dans la nuit du vendredi 26 juin le Premier ministre grec Alexis Tsipras refuse les dernières propositions faites à la Grèce par les «institutions» (la BCE, la Commission européenne et le FMI) et annonce un référendum. Moins de 24h plus tard, les «institutions» ripostent en asphyxiant l’économie de la Grèce. Elles refusent d’augmenter les liquidités accordées au pays et forcent le gouvernement à fermer temporairement les banques et instaurer un contrôle sur les capitaux.
July 1, 2015: PAME: No to the Memorandum of Troika – No to the Memorandum of SYRIZA The coalition Government of the Socialdemocratic SYRIZA and the ultrarightwing ANEL approved last night in the Parliament the conducting of a Referendum on July 5th. This resolution was voted in the Parliament with 178 votes in favor coming from the three major parties, SYRIZA, the ultarightwing racist ANEL and the neofascist party Golden Dawn. The coalition of SYRIZA-ANEL is aiming with this referendum to transfer the responsibility over to the Greek people.
July 1, 2015: As it happened - Yanis Varoufakis' intervention during the 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history. Ministers turned down the Greek government’s request that the Greek people should be granted a single week during which to deliver a Yes or No answer to the institutions’ proposals – proposals crucial for Greece’s future in the Eurozone. The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt.
July 1, 2015: The four ways to end the Greek crisis, from Obama's former top economist It wasn't that long ago that Austan Goolsbee worked in the White House, as President Obama's top economist, and a financial crisis in Greece was threatening the global economy. Now Goolsbee is back teaching at the University of Chicago, Obama is halfway through his second term ... and Greece is rearing up again.
July 1, 2015: Weisbrot and Krugman are Wrong: Greece cannot pull off an Argentina There are two arguments against the recommendation that Greece and Argentina are similar enough to warrant an Argentinian road for Greece. There are those, like the Cato Institute and IMF diehards, who never forgave Argentina for having successfully escaped the clutches of the poisonous austerity (and internal devaluation) that the IMF had imposed upon the country.
June 30, 2015: Greece in chaos: will Syriza's last desperate gamble pay off? If it all ends on Monday, with the Greeks voting for austerity in order to keep the euro, the first far-left party to hold office in modern Europe will be judged by its critics a failure. By calling a referendum, Syriza has gambled that it can strengthen its hand in negotiations with its lenders.
June 30, 2015: The eurozone: a crisis of policy, not debt Three months ago, I wrote here about the risks that the European authorities were posing to the US economy and asked what the US government was going to do about it. It was clear at that time that "the Troika" – the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – was once again playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship at that time with the government of Greece.
June 30, 2015: Greece: What's Next? The Greek government has called a referendum on the latest proposals from the creditor institutions to be held on Sunday,
5 July. The question to be put in the referendum is in essence: Do you approve/agree with the latest proposal of the institutions. The Greek government will campaign for a ‘no’ vote. We expect that the referendum will take place as scheduled, though as in the proposed 2012 referendum, there is a possibility it will not.
June 30, 2015: No to Blackmail and to Austerity – Yes to Democracy On 5 July, the Greek people are called to make a decision of historical importance; a decision that will not only determine the future of the country, but the future of Europe as a whole. The institutions of the Troika are not only trying to destroy change in Greece, they are trying to undermine us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites.
June 29, 2015: Greece: On learning from one's mistakes The very rancorous turn in negotiations between Greece, the European institutions and the IMF and the recent announcement of a referendum require some facts to be set straight and a new direction to be taken.
June 29, 2015: Greece referendum: did the euro just die at 4pm? We're staying in Europe! says the headline of the Greek liberal paper Kathimerini today. While the far left government will pose the referendum as a vote for or against austerity, the right will say it’s an in-out vote for the single currency and the EU itself.
June 29, 2015: Syriza, the Troika and the ironies, Michael Roberts The ‘impossible triangle’ for the Syriza government was 1) reversing austerity 2) staying the Eurozone; and 3) Syriza staying in power. The Troika prepared to break that triangle. What the Troika wanted was a Greek government carrying out a full programme of austerity (running a government budget surplus in the middle of a depression) and structural reforms. When Syriza wanted to change those conditions, not only did the Troika not concede, it actually tried to impose even harsher ones on Syriza.
June 29, 2015: Tsipras's shock call for vote on Greek bailout sets day of destiny for Europe Five years of wrenching austerity that have left many Greeks traumatised and pauperised are about to get a lot worse. Creditor governments meeting in Brussels on Saturday night pledged to halt Greece's bailout on Tuesday after the leftwing government abandoned five months of negotiations with its European lenders and called a referendum that may propel the country out of the euro.
June 29, 2015: Greece crisis: a disaster for Athens and a colossal failure for the EU Five years from its inception, the world’s biggest bailout of a sovereign state will grind to an excruciating halt on Tuesday, theoretically leaving Greece high and dry and on its own under a leftwing government bitterly accusing the EU elite of deliberately using the country as a neo-liberal laboratory.
June 29, 2015: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras calls referendum on bailout terms In a dramatic move that will put Europe on tenterhooks, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told his fellow citizens last night he would call a referendum on the bailout accord that international creditors have proposed to keep the debt-stricken country afloat.
June 28, 2015: Greek referendum is a Machiavellian plot A few days ago, in the euro summit on June 22, all indications were that Europe's political beasts and IMF representatives were ready to accept the latest proposal of the leftist Greek government that would have broken the five-month deadlock between Greece and its lenders.
June 28, 2015: Europeans take to streets to back Greece New solidarity protests with Greece broke out in several European cities on June 25, after the Troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank rejected Greece's earlier compromise in negotiations. The Troika threw down new demands for further austerity in return for a deal over Greece's debt payments.
June 28, 2015: Tsipras goes for referendum on 5 July Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has just called a referendum on 5 July. This after spending most of the week locked in discussions with creditors, in which no deal emerged. Here’s a quick recap?—?and why its likely Greece will vote no.
June 28, 2015: Restructuration, Audit, Suspension and Abolition of the debt According to Eric Toussaint, debt restructuring has always been the result of economic and geopolitical calculation, rarely producing a favourable long-term outcome for the debtors; unless the creditors saw a strategic advantage for themselves in it. Sovereign debt “restructuring”, as it is now called by the IMF, the Paris Club and the big banking corporations, and more recently by the left in Greece, Portugal and Spain, is not a satisfactory expression, in fact using the actual term “restructuring” is dangerous, because the creditors have loaded it with what they want it to mean.
June 27, 2015: Greece is being blackmailed. Exiting the eurozone is its way out A few days ago the Greek government submitted a list of proposals hoping to break the deadlock with the “institutions” – the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The government basically agreed to tough primary surpluses: 1% in 2015 and 2% in 2016.
June 27, 2015: An End to the Blackmail, Alexis Tsipras For six months now the Greek government has been waging a battle in conditions of unprecedented economic suffocation to implement the mandate you gave us on January 25. The mandate we were negotiating with our partners was to end the austerity and to allow prosperity and social justice to return to our country.
June 27, 2015: Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance Rarely in modern times have we witnessed such a display of petulance and bad judgment by those supposed to be in charge of global financial stability, and by those who set the tone for the Western world. The spectacle is astonishing. The European Central Bank, the EMU bail-out fund, and the International Monetary Fund, among others, are lashing out in fury against an elected government that refuses to do what it is told. They entirely duck their own responsibility for five years of policy blunders that have led to this impasse.
June 26, 2015: Alexis Tsipras's homework has been thrown back in his face The red ink told its own story. Greece’s creditors looked at the plan submitted by Alexis Tsipras to end his country’s debt crisis and found it wanting. Like a teacher dealing with an obtuse pupil, the message in the revised document sent back to the Greeks was simple: this is a shoddy piece of work. Do it again.
June 26, 2015: Absolute absurd! Greece's creditors leaked proposals with €11bn measures The five-page creditors’ proposals to Greece have been leaked to the press and it is all over the Greek and international internet. The proposals that bear the signature of the International Monetary Fund demand from austerity in form of VAT hikes, sweeping changes in to pensions system, including raising of the retirement age to 67...
June 26, 2015: Truth Committee on the Greek Public Debt In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. The black box of debt has remained closed, and until now no authority, Greek or international, has sought to bring to light the truth about how and why Greece was subjected to the Troika regime.
June 25, 2015: Greece: a deal nobody believes in The deal Greece wants in Brussels has three parts: budget, debt and public investment. In the flurry of last-minute negotiations, conducted under threat of a bank run and capital controls, the media has been obsessed with the first. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini carried the full Greek proposal on the budget for 2015-17, designed by Syriza’s negotiators to achieve the surplus target the IMF/ECB and EU have imposed. It is, as one of the ministers presenting it told me, “terrible”.
June 25, 2015: This is a deal that heaps more misery on Greeks After months of fierce negotiations with its creditors, has Athens blinked? Fearful of the domestic reaction to a Greek default and the Grexit that would almost certainly have followed, its radical left, anti-austerity government gave ground and promised more tax increases and spending cuts. Not huge, but it seems almost enough.
June 25, 2015: Syriza's Moment of Truth Syriza came to power on the back of an impossible pledge – namely, to end austerity whilst keeping Greece within monetary union. The party’s pre-election Thessaloniki Programme promised to write-off most of the country’s €330 billion public debt through a European Conference. They also promised €4 billion in public investment, the creation of 300,000 new jobs and a rebuilding of the welfare state.
June 25, 2015: Syriza and the EU after the first long battle - the balance sheet of the negotiations In the wake of the May 2014 European Elections, all economic actors in Greece -- from the poorest household to the biggest multinational -- were, for the most part, frozen in economic inactivity as they faced the prospect of Syriza’s victory. This led to an artificial collapse in tax receipts, the freezing of all kinds of investment, capital flight and the cancelling-out of the weak dynamic toward economic recovery that had appeared before the last quarter of 2014.
June 25, 2015: Call for a European mobilization, from movements of Greece During the previous governments, Greece used to be a guinea pig but now is a positive example which some forces want to smash. Therefore, there is a need for building a militant European social and political front against the pressure of the EU institutions, leading to the suffocation of the Greek society, and to the restart of the austerity programmes implemented already for 4 years by the previous governments with catastrophic results.
June 25, 2015: In Search of Lost Time It appears that five months were needed for the Greek government to finally withdraw from a process that has been exhausting for the government itself and society as a whole. This was the time required for a (perhaps temporary) end to be put to the repayment installments to the creditors and for Syriza to issue a call for reactivation of the popular mobilization that was interrupted by the catastrophic agreement of February 20.
June 25, 2015: Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive, Michal Rozworski EU's message ‘there still is no alternative’ proves that objective of punitive austerity is political, not economic. Under relentless pressure for months from their creditors, Greece has answered Europe's final ultimatum with an array of concessions. The current deal-in-the-making exposes a crude political project dressed up in economic niceties.
June 24, 2015: Greek Pensions Have Been Cut Sharply, But Creditors Want More Greece’s pension system has become the main obstacle to a deal with its creditors. The leftist government in Athens is flatly refusing to cut pensions more. The eurozone and the International Monetary Fund say pensions for poorer Greeks should be protected, but they argue Greece can’t afford its overall system. Without a compromise on pensions, there’s no deal, no money for Greece, default, capital controls, and return of the drachma.
June 24, 2015: Creditors' economic plan for Greece is illiterate and doomed to fail The troika plan for the Greek economy has already failed twice, and it will fail for a third time if the economically illiterate plan being foisted on Athens is adopted. Greece requires growth and debt relief, but the proposals currently being discussed provide neither.
June 24, 2015: Greece is Europe's failed state in waiting When, as now appears likely, Greece financially separates from Europe it will at one level be no one’s fault. The Greek leaders will rightly explain that having imposed more austerity on themselves than any industrialised country has suffered since the Depression, they could not have done more without light at the end of tunnel in the form of a clear commitment to debt relief.
June 23, 2015: A handbook to the first months of SYRIZA-ANEL government From the streets and movements of Athens, pages of the Greek press and labyrinthine world of social media, comrade Quincey is sending his “reports” for AnalyzeGreece!, characterized by his particular style of writing and blasphemous humor. Keep up with the Tales from the Streets of Athens to stay updated on what is going on in contemporary Greece, the country where, for the first time, the Left is (or, according to some, is supposed to be) in power.
June 23, 2015: How the uncomfortable and very possible scenario of capital controls would play out The following scenario could become a reality if the deposit outflows from local banks continue at the same high rate as in recent days: The governor of the Bank of Greece calls the Greek premier to inform him that capital controls are necessary to prevent the domestic banking system from collapse. Due to the outflows, the banks are just hours away from running out of cash.
June 22, 2015: Greece, The Euro and Gunboat Diplomacy Original decision to provide a bail out is the source of the current crisis. Time for Europe to share the blame and financial consequences.
June 22, 2015: Greek crisis: crunch time We’re at a critical point in the Greek crisis, which is really the 2010-11 Euro crisis being unfrozen after five years of make believe solutions. Money is leaving the banking system at the rate of a billion euros a day. Bank deposits stood at €164bn when the conservative-led coalition began to totter last December; were €132bn at last count and are probably close to €125bn and falling as I write.
June 21, 2015: Greek crisis standoff: five possible outcomes The standoff between the EU commission and Greece must be resolved by the end of the month. Either Brussels releases the last €7.2bn (£5.14bn) of bailout cash due to Athens under its existing rescue deal or Greece goes bust. Here are the possible scenarios to how this may play out: 1. The creditors blink...
June 21, 2015: A pressing question for Ireland before Monday's meeting on Greece Last Thursday’s eurogroup meeting went down in history as a lost opportunity to produce an already belated agreement between Greece and its creditors. Perhaps the most telling remark by any finance minister in that meeting came from Michael Noonan. He protested that ministers had not been made privy to the institutions’ proposal to my government before being asked to participate in the discussion.
June 21, 2015: The Eurozone's Cover-up Over Greece Whenever I write about Greece, a large proportion of comments (maybe not a majority) could be summarised as follows: how can you side with Greece when its economy is so inefficient and its governments so inept and after everything we have done for them. I have no illusions about the inefficiencies and corruption endemic within the Greek economy. Nor do I want to become an apologist for any Greek government.
June 21, 2015: Truth Committee on Public Debt - Preliminary Report In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt - greekdebttruthcommission.org
June 21, 2015: Drip Feeding Greece Will End in Default Dimitri Lascaris and Leo Panitch discuss the Athenian proposal which rejected pension cuts but included closing military bases - Interviewed by Sharmini Peries.
June 20, 2015: Why Greece might now have the upper hand in crunch talks Greece knows it. The International Monetary Fund knows it. Every European finance minister knows it. After the latest failure to secure a deal at the meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg, the crisis is coming to a head. The unescapable facts are that between Monday and Wednesday, some €2bn (£1.43bn) left the Greek banking system.
June 20, 2015: Europe's secret fear about Greece There’s a secret fear gripping the powerful across Europe. It has policy honchos lying awake at nights in Brussels. It has bankers in Berlin tossing feverishly on their silken sheets. It has eurocrats muttering into their claret. The fear? It isn’t that if Greece leaves the euro EURUSD, -0.0711% , the Greeks will then suffer a terrible economic meltdown.
June 20, 2015: May Hope Prevail in Greece and Europe, San Francisco Labor Council Whereas, Greece has been subjected to extreme austerity measures for the past five years by the Troika that have resulted in more than 25 percent unemployment and a contraction of the economy by 25 per cent, thereby making it even more difficult for Greece to pay back its loans...
June 19, 2015: What If There is No Deal on Greece? A resolution of the Greek impasse still looks remote, particularly given that Angela Merkel, in a speech to Parliament this morning, made all sorts of apple pie and motherhood statements about the importance of the Eurozone, but nevertheless pointed to the need for Greece to make concessions: “When the politicians in Greece muster this will, then an agreement with the three institutions is still possible.”
June 19, 2015: Executive Summary of the report from the Debt Truth Committee In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. Five years since the economic adjustment programmes began, the country remains deeply cemented in an economic, social, democratic and ecological crisis.
June 19, 2015: Why the powerful are punishing Greece The flurry of proposals, threats and counteroffers in negotiations over Greece's debts has obscured the question: Just who is responsible for Greece's economic collapse--and why are the rulers of Europe insisting on austerity measures that will only compound the enormous suffering in a country that has already seen its economy shrink by 25 percent in five years?
June 19, 2015: Greece's Proposals to End the Crisis, Yanis Varoufakis The only antidote to propaganda and malicious ‘leaks’ is transparency. After so much disinformation on my presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government's position, the only response is to post the precise words uttered within. Read them and judge for yourselves whether the Greek government's proposals constitute a basis for agreement.
June 19, 2015: Having added to Greece's woes, the IMF demands more of the same It is difficult to understand the logic of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) present negotiating position in its dealing with the Greek government. Having acknowledged that excessive fiscal tightening within a euro straitjacket had played an important part in Greece’s horrendous economic performance over the past six years, the IMF is now prescribing very much the same policies for the period immediately ahead.
June 18, 2015: Greece accuses Europe of plotting regime change as creditors draw up ultimatum Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has accused Europe’s creditor powers of trying to subvert Greece’s elected government after five years of “pillaging”, warning in solemn terms that his country will defend its sovereign dignity whatever the consequences. The defiant stand came as the European Commission lashed out at the Greeks and warned that the country would collapse into a “state of emergency” unless there is a deal to avert a financial crash.
June 18, 2015: Nobody's blinking In my last post on Greece, I said it was ten minutes past midnight for the Greek government and the Eurogroup credit institutions in getting an agreement to release outstanding funds so that the Greeks can meet their obligations to repay the IMF and the ECB loans over the next few months. Remember all these tortuous negotiations are not about ‘bailing out’ the Greek people but simply to avoid the Greeks defaulting on their government debts to the Troika. None of this money will go to improve or maintain real incomes, public services and pensions for Greeks.
June 18, 2015: Greece-Troika negotiations: last turns of the screw? For a while in late May, it looked as if the negotiations over the terms for releasing the last €7.2-billion owed Greece under its second bailout package with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (the Troika) just might have some chance of success.
June 18, 2015: The Endgame in Greece After months of wrangling, the showdown between Greece and its European creditors has come down to a standoff over pensions and taxes. Greece is refusing to acquiesce to demands by its creditors that it cut payments to the elderly and raise the value-added tax on their medicine and electricity.
June 18, 2015, Bullet No. #1130: What Greece's Creditors Should Know, Vassilis K. Fouskas Greece managed to make a recent payment of €750-million to the IMF by way of drawing down a special account Greece held at the fund. But early in June, a further payment of €300-million to the IMF is required, although the fund said that this can be met at the end of the month, allowing negotiators to strike a deal. It is almost impossible for Greece to meet further obligations to her creditors.
June 17, 2015: Syriza split looms as left-wing propose 'Icelandic-style default' Greece's ruling Syriza party may be in danger of splitting as left-wing radicals propose a default on the country's international debts and the nationalisation of its banks. The Daily Telegraph reported that a confidential plan for an "Icelandic-style default" will be put forward in the next few days by members of Syriza's Aristeri Platforma (Left Platform) and has gained the support of at least 30 MPs, or one-fifth of Syriza's total parliamentarians.
June 17, 2015: What Is Reform? The Strange Case Of Greece And Europe On our way back from Berlin last Tuesday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis remarked to me that current usage of the word “reform” has its origins in the middle period of the Soviet Union, notably under Khrushchev, when modernizing academics sought to introduce elements of decentralization and market process into a sclerotic planning system.
June 16, 2015: Greece: We are clearly at a critical turning point Developments in the debt negotiations between Greece and the European institutions have come thick and fast in the last days: the submission of proposals by the Greek side, leaks of lenders’ supposed counter-proposals, their rejection by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, pre-agenda debate in the Parliament—where Tsipras repeated his outright rejection of the counter-proposals—and then a refusal to pay the June 5 instalment of the International Monetary Fund loan. We are clearly at a critical turning point.
June 16, 2015: Markets Fear the End Game for Greece as IMF Gives Ukraine a Free Pass Until a few days ago, the Greek and Ukrainian debt crises looked like twins: Two sovereigns with immense debts, creditors at their throats, looming deadlines, and deep fiscal and economic problems. One of the biggest guns among the creditors is that toughest of taskmasters, the International Monetary Fund.
June 16, 2015: Greek eurozone crisis: is time running out for Syriza? The Greek crisis ramped up a gear last night when, at the start of supposed “last chance” talks in Brussels, EU negotiators told the Greek delegation that “negotiations were over” and that they had no mandate to offer anything new.
June 16, 2015: Greece, Germany And The Eurozone Since the end of the war, Greeks and Germans, together with other Europeans, have been uniting. We were uniting despite different languages, diverse cultures, distinctive temperaments. In the process of coming together, we were discovering, with great joy, that there are fewer differences between our nations than the differences observed within our nations.
June 15, 2015: Syriza Left demands 'Icelandic' default as Greek defiance stiffens The radical wing of Greece's Syriza party is to table plans over coming days for an Icelandic-style default and a nationalisation of the Greek banking system, deeming it pointless to continue talks with Europe's creditor powers. Syriza sources say measures being drafted include capital controls and the establishment of a sovereign central bank able to stand behind a new financial system.
June 15, 2015: The Looming Austerity Package Developments in the debt negotiations between Greece and the European institutions have come thick and fast in the last days: the submission of proposals by the Greek side, leaks of lenders’ supposed counter-proposals, their rejection by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, pre-agenda debate in the Parliament — where Tsipras repeated his outright rejection of the counter-proposals — and then a refusal to pay the June 5 installment of the International Monetary Fund loan. We are clearly at a critical turning point.
June 14, 2015: Grexit: end of the illusion For five months we have watched the attempt by the government of Greece to renegotiate its debt with the notorious Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with the German government very much the 500 pound cliché in the room). Or, so it appeared. We can now know that the reality was and is quite different from appearances.
June 14, 2015: The case for radical change in Europe can't be left to the nationalist right For the true face of the European Union, look no further than the war now being waged on Greece by its troika of euro creditors. No people have suffered more from the eurozone crisis than the Greeks. The victim of rapacious European banks, a corrupt elite, and a half-baked, lopsided currency union, Greece has paid a pulverising price for the financial crash and eurozone meltdown.
June 13, 2015: Syriza's Red Lines In the early hours of Friday morning, according to the British paper the Daily Telegraph, five key players in the Syriza government, meeting in the Maximus Mansion in Athens, made an important decision. They decided that the government would not pay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) its debt repayment installment due that day. Apparently, IMF chief Christine Lagarde was caught badly off guard. IMF officials in Washington were stunned.
June 13, 2015: Fighting Golden Dawn After five months of negotiations between the Greek government and the European “institutions,” things may be finally boiling over. The dramatic situation has captured international headlines and perhaps overshadowed domestic efforts at reform by the Syriza government.
June 13, 2015: Piraeus, where Syriza isn't left wing enough On the dockside in Piraeus workers have gathered to protest at ongoing austerity measures which have seen their pay cut and working conditions worsen during the Greek economic crisis.
June 12, 2015: If you think Greece's crisis will end any time soon, think again Frustrated by Greece’s cat and mouse game with its creditors? Get used to it. Even if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras clinches the 7.2 billion euros ($8-billion) that creditors are withholding, he’s going to need another cash infusion shortly thereafter.
June 11, 2015: If the eurozone thinks Greece can be blackmailed, it is wrong The never-ending Greek crisis witnessed a dramatic acceleration last week: the government submitted a list of proposals, the troika (the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank) came back with a list of its own, the Greek side rejected them out of hand, a parliamentary debate followed in Athens during which the prime minister repeated the rejection, and finally Greece failed to make a scheduled payment to the IMF on 5 June, presumably bundling all its payments for the end of the month.
June 11, 2015: The promise of history: Syriza and the future of the left History saturated the atmosphere on January 25, 2015. The jubilant crowd that had gathered to celebrate the rise of Syriza to power greeted Alexis Tsipras with the slogan 'now the time of the left has come'. Memories of past struggles blended with hope and the new prime minister followed suit, fuelling the great expectations of the day. 'Today, the Greek people wrote history' were his opening words, promising a new epoch not only for Greece but for the European project as a whole.
June 11, 2015: Greece Must Prepare to Leave the Eurozone When Syriza won Greece's parliamentary elections in January of 2015, much ado was made in the international press about the rise of a new radical Left in Greece—a development that had punctured Greece’s longstanding two-party stalemate and opened up the possibility of rolling back the brutal austerity measures imposed upon it by the troika.
June 10, 2015: The troika is supposed to build Greece up, not blow it apart. Time for a ceasefire The phrase “trench warfare” comes to mind. On Friday evening the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, lobbed some choice words at his foes in Brussels, calling their proposed debt deal “absurd”. Days earlier, the International Monetary Fund had joined its allies in Brussels to fire a volley of criticism at Athens. The Greeks already had “significant flexibility” to get out of their budget mess, IMF boss Christine Lagarde said, as she urged Athens to repay the €300m instalment of its bailout loan due on Friday.
June 10, 2015: Greek exit would trigger eurozone collapse, says Alexis Tsipras Alexis Tsipras warned on Tuesday that the failure to agree a rescue deal for Greece would spell the end of the eurozone as he submitted a revised package of reforms to negotiators in Brussels. The Greek prime minister said if Greece fails, Europe’s leaders will have a bigger disaster on their hands because “it will be the beginning of the end of the eurozone”.
June 9, 2015: Ten minutes past midnight In the early hours of Friday morning, according to the British paper, the Daily Telegraph (DT), five key players in the Syriza government, meeting in the Maximus Mansion in Athens, took an important decision. They decided that the government would not pay the IMF its debt repayment instalment due that day. Apparently, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde was caught badly off guard. IMF officials in Washington were stunned.
June 8, 2015: Syriza, Podemos, Venceremos? The emergence of new radical-progressive parties in Greece and the Spanish state is not just a response to the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s, but also to the longer term hollowing out of “politics” under neoliberalism, which in many European states has been mainly channelled by far-right populism, and has been driven by dramatic levels of social mobilisation – most notably the 15-M movement, and the twenty general strikes and square occupations in Greece.
June 8, 2015: Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty and Other World-Renowned Economists Demand End to Greek Austerity In an essay published on Friday morning in the Financial Times, 26 of the world’s most renowned economic minds proclaimed their solidarity with Syriza, Greece’s ruling anti-austerity party. The article’s authors—a group that includes Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, Marcus Miller and former Prime Minister of Italy Massimo D’Alema—summarized their message as a “plea for economic sanity and humanity.”
June 7, 2015: Greece's creditors need a dose of reality - this is no time for European disunion EU leaders continue to play a game of brinkmanship with the Greek government. Athens has met its creditors’ demands more than halfway. Yet Germany and Greece’s other creditors continue to demand that the country sign on to a programme proven to be a failure, and that few economists ever thought could, would, or should be implemented.
June 7, 2015: Greece fails to agree with the creditors, prepares for elections The five-hour meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and the Presidents of the European Commission and the euro zone finance ministers did not result in a convergence of positions. Alexis Tsipras will meet again with Jean-Claude Juncker and Jeroen Dijsselbloem in Brussels on Friday in a new attempt to reach an agreement.
June 7, 2015: Greek Options: Surrender or Default Five months after Syriza’s victory in Greece, Tariq talks to Stathis Kouvelakis, a leading intellectual on Syriza, about the options now facing the new Government. Will they default on the existing debt, or face surrender to the EU?
June 7, 2015: Greece debt crisis: the unsustainable ultimatum They came, they saw, they had – as one Syriza MP put it to me last night – “their balls handed to them”. For all the smiling and calm displayed by Alexis Tsipras after the emergency Brussels meeting last night, the Greeks know they came off the worst.
June 7, 2015: Syriza, Podemos, Left Bloc, and the Left: A European Revolutionary Politics?, Panitch, Leo The 2105 Left Forum opening plenary focused on anti-austerity politics, alliances, and national and international political potentials and challenges emerging in Europe and impacting the world; revolutionary dimensions of these developments - in the context of a mass-based political, economic, cultural, ecological, race, gender, and class struggle-illuminating politics - of electoral, left, and social movement organizing. Recorded in New York, 29 May 2015.
June 6, 2015: Syriza Has No Choice: Greece Must Prepare to Leave the Eurozone When Syriza won Greece’s parliamentary elections in January of 2015, much ado was made in the international press about the rise of a new radical Left in Greece—a development that had punctured Greece’s longstanding two-party stalemate and opened up the possibility of rolling back the brutal austerity measures imposed upon it by “the troika,” the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
June 6, 2015: What Greece's creditors should know Syriza cannot and will not default on its people by stopping paying wages and pensions. If matters come to a head, it will default on its creditors because democratic principles are not negotiable.
June 6, 2015: SYRIZA needs clear answers The stark choice facing the Greek government--accept the demands of the European Union and other "institutions," and continue to impose harsh austerity measures without any relief; or reject the extortion and face the possibility of a break with the eurozone--is being intensely debated throughout Greece, and particularly with the radical left party SYRIZA.
June 5, 2015: Europe at a crossroads On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past.
June 5, 2015: Greece moves closer to eurozone exit after delaying €300m repayment to IMF Greece has moved closer to default and possible exit from the eurozone after telling the International Monetary Fund it would not be making a debt repayment of €300m (£219m) due on Friday. A crisis that has been going on for more than five years entered a new phase when Athens surprised the IMF by saying it intended to bundle up four payments in June totalling €1.6bn and make them all at the end of the month.
June 5, 2015: Greece refuses to make €305m IMF payment in show of defiance Greece will skip its €305m (£218m) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday in a show of defiance as a deal between Athens and its creditors remains out of reach. The country invoked a rule created by the IMF in the 1970s that allows it to bundle all of its €1.6bn payments due this month into one.
June 4, 2015: Greece: a clod of earth worth saving? When prime ministers write articles they tend to be, like Tony Blair’s old speeches, full of soundbites designed to obfuscate meaning. But Alexis Tsipras is fighting for his political future.
June 4, 2015: Auditing the Greek Debt: unity of place, time and action, as in classical drama The recent debt currently being claimed presents features that make it irregular, illegitimate, illegal, unsustainable, and even odious. Allegedly Greek debts that were cumulated before 2010 were already to a large extent illegitimate and / or illegal (arms contracts involving fraud and corruption, large-scale construction-work related to the 2004 Olympics with overbilling and all sorts of embezzlement, tax giveaways to a privileged minority, bailing out of banks, excessive interest rates) but what is striking is the extent to which debts contracted since 2010 are flawed.
June 4, 2015: No to a two-speed Eurozone On 25 January the Greek people took a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the Memorandum’s one-way street of rigorous austerity, and demanded a new agreement. That is, a new agreement allowing Greece to get back on course to growth – within the Eurozone, and with a viable economic programme – while avoiding the errors of the past.
June 3, 2015: European Leaders Assemble for Urgent Meeting on Greek Crisis As the Greek government faces a looming debt payment, top European leaders met in Berlin on Monday night to reach a consensus over what to do about Greece, signaling the urgent need to unlock emergency financing for the cash-starved country and avoid a devastating default. But a growing political backlash in Greece adds to the uncertainty about whether a deal can be sealed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces increasing dissent within his leftist Syriza party over creditors’ demands for austerity terms as a condition for releasing the aid.
June 3, 2015: Will SYRIZA hold the line? The European ruling class's latest push for more devastating austerity in Greece could force the left-wing SYRIZA government to choose between capitulation and confrontation--and the party's left wing is calling for drawing the line, even if that means a rupture with the European Union and leaving the euro common currency.
June 1, 2015, Bullet No. #1124: The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area, John Milios After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union and the Euro-area. Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
May 31, 2015: May hope prevail both in Greece and Europe From January 25, the government has been giving an unprecedented political struggle. A struggle towards the country’s final exit from the dead-end of the memoranda; a struggle to alleviate the burden of those fighting to survive after the policies implemented during the last 5 years; to restart the economy on a path of viable and socially just development; for the termination of the vicious circle of dept and austerity. A struggle for hope, not only for Greece but for the whole of Europe.
May 29, 2015: Old and New Politicians of Greece, come to your senses On the occasion of the suffering and tribulations that I face every day, from the obscenity that you created with the Government Companies, managing the NSRF and Developmental programmes along with their sinful NGOs behind which Politicians hide with no national consciousness, I am trying to find out how well this Political Crime was organised.
May 29, 2015: Austerity Is the Only Deal-Breaker A common fallacy pervades coverage by the world’s media of the negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors. The fallacy, exemplified in a recent commentary by Philip Stephens of the Financial Times, is that, “Athens is unable or unwilling – or both – to implement an economic reform program.” Once this fallacy is presented as fact, it is only natural that coverage highlights how our government is, in Stephens’s words, “squandering the trust and goodwill of its eurozone partners.”
May 26, 2015: Syriza's Left Platform call not to pay next IMF tranche Syriza’s Left Platform, spearheaded by Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Panagiotis Lafazanis, issued a document during today’s meeting of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, which will come for a vote later in the day. The document calls – once again! – for the rupture with the lenders. Specifically, it asks from the government not to repay the upcoming tranche to the IMF in June, if the ‘institutions’ continue with the ‘same blackmailing tactic.’
May 26, 2015: The good news and the bad The good news is that a Greek default will most likely be prevented, a deal will be reached with the country’s creditors and an extension will be granted for negotiations over the next bailout. This is what has been decided by Angela Merkel, following pressure from Washington. The European Commission also played a pivotal role here, led by its president, Jean-Claude Juncker. The hard part will be implementation.
May 26, 2015: Why Does Greece Not Simply Default? History has shown that countries that refuse to pay their debts fall harder but recover faster than those that do not. So why does Greece’s left-led government not simply get it over with? As the Greek debt drama finally comes to a head with the Syriza-led government quietly warning the U.S. Treasury Secretary and the chief of the International Monetary Fund that its last remaining cash reserves are now all but depleted and the government will not be paying the IMF if it does not receive an infusion of new cash before early June, a critical question arises: why do the radical leftists not simply get it over with and declare a default on the outstanding debt? What do they care about their creditors?
May 25, 2015: Default Looms in Greece Dimitri Lascaris discusses what's at stake with talk of referendums in Greece and Germany.
May 25, 2015: Costas Lapavitsas: 'It's time to bite the bullet' Ahead of Alexis Tsipras’ meeting with Angela Merkel tonight on the sidelines of the EU summit in Riga, we share an interview given on Monday by Costas Lapavitsas, Syriza MP and co-author of Against the Troika, in which Lapavitsas urges a Greek exit from the Euro. "If one finds himself in a trap is it a disaster to try and get out of it? Is it better to wait until death comes?"
May 25, 2015: Why Greece's Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal The leaked IMF document seen by Channel 4 News last weekend effectively signals a three-week endgame in the Greek debt stand-off. The IMF thinks there is “no possibility” that Greece can meet €11bn worth of debt repayments due between June and the end of August. The Greek government is running out of cash.
May 24, 2015: Socialism 2010 conference: Crisis, austerity, and class struggle in Greece Eight months ago we had a right-wing government. The conservative New Democracy party was in power, and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis had just won the elections one year before. He had in front of him three years in power with a majority in the parliament. But he knew what was coming. And he knew that his party - which was very hated by the majority of the working-class in Greece, and very weak inside the unions - could not do the job.
May 24, 2015: The Impossible 'Honorable Compromise' References, with positive or negative connotations, to the idea of an “honorable compromise” are very much in vogue in Greece. In the media discourse, and, more worryingly, of the government itself, “reaching an honorable compromise” with the so-called “institutions,” as the troika has been renamed, has become the strategic goal of the period.
May 23, 2015: Costas Lapavistas interview Costas Lapavitsas, Greek MP, talks about the latest developments in the negotiations between Greece and "Institutions".
May 23, 2015: Greek Deception, Greek Tragedy, German Farce, German Myth It is more than two Millennia since Greece was the pinnacle of Western Civilisation. Today, it is berated as a backward, corrupt and unloved appendage to Europe—its appendix, so to speak. But Greece was once the brain and soul of Europe, and its legacy is still alive today.
May 22, 2015: Socialist Economist Dimitris Kazakis: Syriza Has No Plan B We live in times when national sovereignty is being eroded in favor of global capital. Syriza plans to continue with austerity and has made no serious plan B. All actions taken so far reveal that Syriza intends to continue with the austerity program and in the summer Greece will probably sign a new contract of continued austerity.
May 21, 2015: Greek FinMin Varoufakis: Wages and Pensions a Priority; Hopeful for IMF Payments Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that payments for wages and pensions are a priority and if was to choose between paying Greece’s creditors or the country’s population he would choose the latter. “I hope we will be able to pay both (the IMF and pensions and wages) ... after a deal,” Yanis Varoufakis told Star TV channel’s late night show Ston Eniko.
May 21, 2015: Inge Graessle. So why so fake? Inge Graessle is an MEP of Merkel’s CDU and holds the chair of the committee of the budgetary control in the European Parliament. She participated in a TV talk show along with Stelios Kouloglou, a SYRIZA MEP Opens external link in new window(here). Once again, her claims were not only untrue, but also mendacious. It’s part of their plan for deconstruction concerning the Greek Government. But really, who deconstructs whom?
May 21, 2015: Greece: Europe's last-ditch effort to keep it in euro? After a weekend of leak and counter-leak, in which we learned Greece cannot make critical payments to its lenders due from 5 June, today has seen another dramatic development: the leak to the newspaper To Vima of the European Commission’s proposal to break the logjam.
May 20, 2015: PM speaks to SYRIZA MPs amid worry about talks SYRIZA's political secretariat is due to meet on Wednesday at lunchtime as the deliberations within the leftist party gather pace ahead of a possible deal with lenders, which some MPs and members have indicated they may reject.
May 20, 2015: Greece: This is about equality From Istanbul to Barcelona, the co-operative movement is flourishing as employees revive what the bosses buried.
May 20, 2015: SYRIZA faces a decisive test A moment of truth is approaching quickly for Greece, for the new government elected on a promise to reverse austerity, and for the radical left party SYRIZA that won those elections less than four months ago. The Greek government could soon run out of funds to pay both wages and pensions, and the required repayments on international debts.
May 20, 2015: Would leaving euro be more of a catastrophe for Greece than staying? Yanis Varoufakis rues the day when Greece joined the euro. The Greek finance minister says his country would be better off if it was still using the drachma. Deep down, he says, all 18 countries using the single currency wish that the idea had been strangled at birth but understand that once you are in you don’t get out without a catastrophe.
May 19, 2015: The moment of truth for SYRIZA The Greek government paid another installment of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week, but only by taking desperate measures to scrape together the funds, including tapping a special currency reserve at the IMF itself. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis admitted that the government would run out of money entirely within weeks.
May 18, 2015: The warlike statement of Syriza's Political Secretariat From the first moment that this government was established, it became clear – both domestically, and abroad – that the mandate given by the Greek people is binding and comprises of a compass in the negotiations. The red lines of the government are red lines of the Greek people, expressing the interests of the workers, self-employed, pensioners, farmers, and the youth.
May 18, 2015: Why Syriza Will Blink Once again, Greece seems to have slipped the financial noose. By drawing on its holdings in an International Monetary Fund reserve account, it was able to repay €750 million ($851 million) – ironically to the IMF itself – just as the payment was falling due.
May 17, 2015: Syriza and Greece: Dancing with Austerity SYRIZA’s election on January 25th was a historic event. In the midst of a deep economic crisis and a steep decline of faith in political elites, Europe had elected its first radical Left government since the Spanish civil war. Veteran leftists cried and embraced, socialists from across the continent and beyond flocked to Athens to sing their anthems, and Greek society breathed a sigh of relief at a break from years of immiseration.
May 17, 2015: SYRIZA highlights 'red lines' in negotiations Even as negotiations with Greece's creditors enter a critical phase, the political secretariat of SYRIZA has indicated that the party will not back down from its so-called red lines, reaffirming pre-election promises to protect pensioners and workers.
May 16, 2015: Greece Reconsiders Privatization of Largest Port The Greek government will go ahead with the controversial sale of Greece's largest sea port, according to reports Thursday. Three companies have been invited to re-submit bids for the port of Piraeus, according to an anonymous official cited by Reuters.
May 15, 2015: Greece to Privatize Port, Airports in Concession to Creditors Greece will continue with efforts to privatize the country’s largest port and regional airports as it seeks ways to attract investment for other state assets, Economy Minister George Stathakis said, in a government concession in talks with its creditors.
May 15, 2015: Socialism and Freedom For the past five years, Hungary has been governed by Fidesz, a right-wing nationalist party. Fidesz, led by Viktór Orbán, has held a two-thirds majority, allowing it to modify the constitution and other major laws, and exercise control over major media outlets.
May 14, 2015: Workers move to stop Greece's Syriza government backsliding The Greek government, led by the radical left Syriza party, is backsliding under pressure from the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). But workers are not taking this lying down. The government was in talks with EU finance ministers on Monday of last week, and had to pay £544-million in debt repayments to the IMF on Tuesday.
May 13, 2015: The relations Greece and Europe need A friend of Nicos Poulantzas and many other Greek intellectuals, Étienne Balibar was in Athens recently for an Institut Français workshop titled “From populism to counter-populism: history and strategy”. Before the meeting he gave an exclusive interview to GrèceHebdo.
May 13, 2015: Russia invites Greece to join BRICS bank Greece has been invited by Russia to become the sixth member of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The $100 billion NDB is expected to compete with Western dominance and become one of the key lending institutions.
May 12, 2015: IMF and Central Bank Loom Large Over Greece's Debt Talks Greek leaders have fought fiercely in recent months with politicians from other European countries over relief on Greece’s vast debt load. Yet the power to decide the fate of Greece lies not just in the hands of these national governments, but also with unelected officials at two powerful institutions: the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
May 11, 2015: A Blueprint for Greece’s Recovery Months of negotiations between our government and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank have produced little progress. One reason is that all sides are focusing too much on the strings to be attached to the next liquidity injection and not enough on a vision of how Greece can recover and develop sustainably. If we are to break the current impasse, we must envisage a healthy Greek economy.
May 11, 2015: Greece's 'war cabinet' prepares to battle EU creditors as anger mounts Greece's "war cabinet" has resolved to defy the European creditor powers after a nine-hour meeting on Sunday, ensuring a crescendo of brinkmanship as the increasingly bitter fight comes to a head this month. Premier Alexis Tsipras and the leading figures of his Syriza movement agreed to defend their "red lines" on pensions and collective bargaining and prepare for battle whatever the consequences, deeming the olive-branch policy of recent weeks to have reached a dead end.
May 10, 2015: Syriza: Lies, Broken Promises and Prolonged Austerity Three months into the new Syriza-led coalition government in Greece, political figures such as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and, especially, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis remain media darlings, and darlings of much of the global left. From glowing coverage and interviews in outlets ranging from Democracy Now! to RT to Prospect magazine, which absurdly named Varoufakis the world's No. 2 thinker for 2015, the international community has repeatedly been told what a great job the "heroic" Syriza-led government has been doing.
May 7, 2015: Greek talks stall over 'red lines' as country fights to remain in eurozone Talks between Greece and its creditors have stalled after the two sides failed to reach an accord on reforms needed to unlock vital financial aid and secure the country’s future in the eurozone. Following days of intensive negotiations, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told reporters that he was still confident a deal would be struck, even though the International Monetary Fund remains at loggerheads with the leftist government over labour market reforms.
May 6, 2015: The IMF's big Greek mistake The Greek government's mounting financial woes are leading it to contemplate the previously unthinkable: defaulting on a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Instead of demanding repayment and further austerity, the IMF should recognize its responsibility for the country's predicament and forgive much of the debt.
May 5, 2015: Make common cause with Greece Syriza coming to power in Greece at the end of January has finally disproven the argument that it is possible to implement an alternative to neoliberalism within the framework of the European Union.
May 3, 2015: On SYRIZA, negotiations and compromise There is a coordinated PR attack against the Greek government, unfortunately also deceiving people from the left, regarding the Greek government's intentions and actions so far. It is far from certain what the results of the negotiations will be, but preemptively announcing SYRIZA's retreat seems to me to be a performative assessment.
May 3, 2015: The Syriza strategy has come to an end The Syriza strategy has been - and it remains - that a change in the political alignment of forces in Greece, in Europe, or generally, would act as a catalyst in the Eurozone. This strategy has now come to an end. The real question is how long it will be before people understand it.
May 2, 2015: Is Merkel Being Irrational? After the Eurogroup agreement in February, Germany’s position concerning the conditions Greece must meet seemed to have relaxed. The initial conditions were basically identical to those agreed to with the preceding Greek government: pension reductions, privatizations, tax increases on basic goods, and continued liberalization of the labor market.
April 30, 2015: Heading for a Grexit? Pressure to repay European creditors could soon force the SYRIZA government in Greece to either abandon key elements of the anti-austerity program that propelled it to victory and into office in January elections--or default on debt repayments, which could lead to a departure from the euro, the common currency of 19 European countries.
April 30, 2015: Greece: crossing the red lines News that Greek prime minister Tsipras had moved his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis from direct negotiations with the Eurogroup suggests that the Syriza government is preparing to make more concessions to the Troika to reach agreement on the terms of the release of outstanding funds from the EU and the ECB under the four-extension of the second bailout package.
April 30, 2015: A very European coup This is why Syriza's negotiating strategy has to play to the European gallery and not just to the suits in the conference room. The aim is to persuade people to put pressure on their own governments or change them in the coming elections.
April 29, 2015: Syriza, Podemos, and the 'eurocommunist' legacy In order to understand the dynamics along with the challenges that Syriza, as well as the whole spectrum of radical left, are confronted with it is useful to turn our attention to the 'eurocommunist moment' at the end of the 1970s. Despite the passage of nearly forty years since then, the debates that prevailed within the radical left at that time rise almost unchanged nowadays.
April 29, 2015: Greek finance minister hints at strained EU relations: 'I welcome their hatred' The gulf between Greece and its creditors widened yet further on Sunday with the crisis-hit country’s finance minister brazenly tweeting that he has become a target of hate. Upping the ante in what has increasingly become a war of nerves, Yanis Varoufakis took on his opponents by making use of one of Franklin D Roosevelt’s most memorable lines.
April 28, 2015: European officials may be pushing regime change in Greece There are various narratives for what is happening to Greece as another deadline looms -- the April 24 gathering of eurozone finance ministers in Riga, Latvia -- and European officials show no sign of compromise.
April 27, 2015: Should Greece Pay Back Its Debt? Financial speculators are nervously asking whether Greece will pay its debt or default. Political leaders from Europe to the US and the IMF are telling the Greek government to leave aside its democratic mandate and accept further austerity as a condition for getting credit to continue to pay back its debt.
April 26, 2015: A New Deal for Greece Three months of negotiations between the Greek government and our European and international partners have brought about much convergence on the steps needed to overcome years of economic crisis and to bring about sustained recovery in Greece.
April 26, 2015: Greece: The Noose Tightens Events in Greece have taken a dramatic turn, and insolvency is at the gates. On April 20, the Greek government issued a decree forcing local authorities to place cash reserves at the Bank of Greece.
April 26, 2015: Greek Crisis: Very Little Wiggle Room for Syriza Newsclick interviewed Prof. Jayati Ghosh, Economist, Jawaharlal Nehru University to discuss the possibility of a Greek default in its IMF repayments. Despite the heavy burden of austerity, Syriza is under pressure not to exit the Eurozone as the Greek people don't want it do so.
April 25, 2015: What does Greece look like at the grassroots? Greece's government, led by the radical left party SYRIZA, is resorting to more and more desperate measures to avoid a looming default--while the blackmailers of the European ruling elite continue to turn up the pressure.
April 25, 2015: The Greek Crisis: Syriza vs Europe A panel discussion on Greece and the fight against austerity, moderated by Michal Rozworski. Presentations by Ingo Schmidt, Peter Prontzos and Natassa Romanou. Recorded in Vancouver, 10 April 2015.
April 23, 2015: The Next Hundred Days What should Syriza’s economic strategy be going forward, given Greece’s position in the eurozone?
April 20, 2015: Why Europe needs to rethink its fiscal compact The developed world seems to be moving toward a long-term zero-interest-rate environment. Though the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the eurozone have kept central-bank policy rates at zero for several years already, the perception that this was a temporary aberration meant that medium- to long-term rates remained substantial. But this may be changing, especially in the eurozone.
April 20, 2015: Greece pushed a step closer to eurozone exit after IMF snub Greece has been pushed a step closer to default and potential exit from the euro after one of its main lenders, the International Monetary Fund, all but ruled out allowing the cash-strapped country to delay repaying the €1bn (£722m) due next month.
April 19, 2015: Athens is being driven closer to a Grexit A trap door is slowly opening under Athens. The Finns appeared to give it a little nudge last week with a leaked report offering a glimpse of its battle plans should the Greeks exit the euro.
April 19, 2015: Greece's Government: Molon Labe An high-ranking official close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government is not planing to give in to its creditors’ pressures and go against the program they had promised to the Greek people who brought them to power. Greece's creditors -- the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund -- are asking for reforms that will bring more austerity to the country that already has more than half of its youth unemployed.
April 19, 2015: Syriza slump would end rise of ‘extreme’ Euro parties The prospect of Greek party Syriza failing to deliver on its anti-austerity pledge could undermine the surge of so-called extremist parties across Europe. That is according to Franklin Templeton’s head of European fixed income, David Zahn.
April 18, 2015: Syriza and the crisis The election victory of Syriza (the Coalition of the Radical Left) in Greece has galvanised the radical left internationally. With parliamentary elections due in the Spanish state later this year, the prospect of a left front against austerity in Europe has opened up.
April 18, 2015: Searching for solutions: Germany confident Greece won’t exit eurozone German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday that he does not expect Greece to leave the eurozone, even if markets have already priced that into their calculations. But he also said no deal had been reached yet between Athens and European Union negotiators on another financial lifeline for the country, as fears mount that it will default on its massive debt.
April 18, 2015: The Other Greek Left On a Greek left dominated by Syriza and the Communist Party, Antarsya is often overlooked. Where did the organization come from and where is it going?
April 18, 2015: The roots of the Greece crisis in European integration As the simmering crisis between Greece and the institutions formerly known as the Troika heats up again, it's a good time to look once more at the roots of the European crisis and what they mean for the possibilities open before Syriza at the present juncture. Greece is being squeezed by Europe: it's cash is about to run out, they've been limited from raising new funds on bond markets and are being asked for ever greater concessions in terms of the reforms.
April 17, 2015: Greece at substantial risk of default, say experts Greece is at substantial risk of a default, one of the world’s three leading ratings agencies said on Wednesday, as it downgraded the debt of the struggling eurozone country. Interest rates on two-year Greek bonds stand at almost 24 per cent, an indication that investors expect the country either to have its debt burden eased or to default.
April 17, 2015: TUNE Declaration concerning the situation in Greece The Trade Unionist Network Europe calls upon the European and International Labour Movement to confront the threats and scare tactics which are now being used against the Greek population and to make clear that any attempt to void or overturn the result of the Greek elections of 25 January will be met with coordinated trade union actions across Europe.
April 15, 2015: Greece: why something has to give I got an email this week predicting that Greece would enter a “rapture” with the ECB as early as 24 April. What my informant meant was “rupture” but the closer we get to the event, the more I think the word rapture actually describes what may be about to happen.
April 14, 2015: Syriza: escaping the prison of the politics of the past Syriza's leadership is walking a tightrope between the demands of the troika and the express will of its base and of the majority of the Greek electorate. Two hostile intersecting axes are forming against the Syriza-led government in Athens. Together they comprise an increasingly cohered effort to destabilise and defeat the government, to usurp the democratically expressed hope of the Greek people to break from the iron cage of austerity.
April 12, 2015: Joseph Stiglitz In Conversation With Yanis Varoufakis The Institute For New Economic Thinking (INET) is currently holding its annual conference in Paris. Part of the proceedings was a conversation on Eurozone problems between Joseph Stiglitz and Yanis Varoufakis. You can watch the full video of the exchange below.
April 12, 2015: The “Small Party” in Power This week, in the latest object of controversy in the ongoing battle between Greece’s Syriza government and the country’s European creditors, debt payments are due to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The extraordinary, ongoing pressure Syriza is facing has spurred intense debates about the limits and possibilities of left governments faced with such weighty choices.
April 11, 2015: Syriza Can Still Succeed—Even Though EU Officials Are Set On Its Demise Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow today to discuss gas prices, trade and investment with Vladimir Putin; Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis recently left Washington, where he assured the IMF’s Christine Lagarde that Greece will make a loan repayment due tomorrow and discussed with her the Syriza government’s proposed reforms. A symmetrical shuttling, you could say, beyond the EU’s borders; a reasonable hedging of bets at a critical moment for Greece; an assertion of agency.
April 11, 2015: IMF made a €2.5billion profit from loans to Greece Nice profit. With an interest rate of 3.6% the International Monetary Fund has made a 2.5 billion euro profit from the loans to Greece since 2010. Of curse, nobody lends money without profit, right? How much more when the majority of the IMF bailout goes to save banks and is paid back by people’s taxes.
April 11, 2015: In Greece, New Commission Will Audit All National Debt In this interview, Eric Toussaint, a founder of the Committee for the Abolition of Third-World Debt, discusses a new commission to audit Greece’s public debt to determine which parts are illegal, illegitimate, unsustainable or odious.
April 10, 2015: The Real Thing: An Anti-austerity European Government I have just come from Athens where I have, for the last several days, had the high privilege of working with the government of Greece, and especially with the Finance Minister, my very good friend, Yanis Varoufakis. I’ve actually had two occasions, so far, to observe the drama that’s unfolding in Europe from a close vantage point.
April 9, 2015: Greece puts a figure on World War Two reparation claims from Germany Greece's deputy finance minister said on Monday Germany owes Greece nearly 279-billion euros ($305.17-billion) in reparations for the Nazi occupation of the country. Greek governments and also private citizens have pushed for war damages from Germany for decades but the Greek government has never officially quantified its reparation claims.
April 9, 2015: All eyes on PM Tsipras in Moscow; EU, USA fear Greece might asks Putin for a bailout All eyes are on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visiting Moscow, holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The BBC had a live stream when Tsipras laid a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in the Red square Just like the UK-broadcaster would if the Pope or President Obama would visit Kremlin and the Russian Bear.
April 8, 2015: Greek activists welcome much needed breathing space “We have some breathing space again,” says Makis, a teacher and street art activist from Athens. For more than twenty years he has been part of different anarchist groups and initiatives, so you really wouldn’t think of him as someone naively celebrating the new Greek government.
April 8, 2015: Greece Has Cash to Make IMF Payment Next Week Greece won’t default on payments to the International Monetary Fund next week even as a lack of bailout disbursements has left government coffers nearly empty, according to the minister responsible for meeting the obligations.
April 7, 2015: In Greece, New Commission Will Audit All National Debt In this interview, Eric Toussaint, a founder of the Committee for the Abolition of Third-World Debt, discusses a new commission to audit Greece's public debt to determine which parts are illegal, illegitimate, unsustainable or odious.
April 4, 2015: Greece scraps hospital visit fee, to hire health workers Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said a 5-euro fee to access state hospitals had been scrapped and 4,500 healthcare workers would be hired, the latest move by his leftist government to ease what it calls a humanitarian crisis in the country.
April 4, 2015: Greek reforms in the context of the 2015 Eurogroup Agreement This document presents for the first time a full summary of the reforms and legislative projects that will be undertaken by the Government of Greece under the terms of the February 20, 2015 extension of the MFAFA. It is presented to Greece's European partners as a step toward completion of the Final Review of the present arrangement.
April 4, 2015: The Nature Of The Greek Crisis German journalist Harald Schumann of Der Tagesspiegel and Arpad Bondy produced a documentary 'The Trail of the Troika' for the TV channel Arte. The film features short clips with Yanis Varoufakis but now they released the full interview on YouTube.
April 3, 2015: The union and the euro are at stake, Greece warns EU The viability of the EU - and its most cherished creation, the single currency - are at stake, Greece warned on Wednesday as the country at the epicentre of the continent's debt crisis continued to haggle over a cash-for-reforms deal with international creditors keeping it afloat.
April 3, 2015: Are European Authorities Destroying Greece's Economy in Order to 'Save' It? There is a tense standoff right now between the Greek government and the European authorities - sometimes known as the Troika because it includes the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ECB President Mario Draghi denied this week that his institution is trying to blackmail the Greek government.
April 3, 2015: What Austerity Looks Like Inside Greece Not long after the election victory, in late January, of the Greek anti-austerity party Syriza, I visited a crowded caf? in central Athens. The new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, was unveiling his party's program that day, and the caf?'s owners had wheeled in a television so that patrons could watch.
April 3, 2015: Greece What Is to Be Done? A Pamphlet Greece has become the storm centre of class struggle in Europe for the duration of this decade. The country has been the site of a relentless economic and political assault by the internal and external forces of neoliberalism.
April 2, 2015: German Chancellor Asked Greek Prime Minister to Reduce Pensions Speaking on Greek television on Monday, the Deputy Minister referred to the recent meeting of the two countries' leaders in Berlin and the talk on Greece's debt. According to Mardas, the German chancellor suggested during the talks that the Greek government should proceed with pension cuts. Tsipras immediately rejected the suggestion.
April 2, 2015: Germany says Greece must flesh out reforms to unlock aid Greece's biggest creditor Germany said on Monday that the euro zone would give Athens no further financial aid until it has a more detailed list of reforms and some are enacted into law, adding to scepticism over plans presented last week.
April 2, 2015: In case of illegitimate debts creditors can be contravened Eric Toussaint was interviewed by Kristina Bozic for Slovenian weekly newspaper Dnevnik in early March. On March 17 the speaker of the Greek parliament, Zo? Konstantopoulou, announced during the creation of a commission to audit the Greek debt. The scientific coordination of that commission will be led by Toussaint.
April 1, 2015: The interview of Syriza's Lafazanis, hardcore Left-platform Minister The meeting of Alexis Tsipras with Angela Merkel at Berlin ought to have happened, and it is positive that from the Greek side some crucial problems for Greece were highlighted face-to-face. Beyond that, however, I do not think that the official Germany is changing its strategy.
March 31, 2015: Neither Grexit, nor Grexident. Euro and 'drachma' in parallel? Greece is unlikely to exit the euro, either intentionally or accidentally. But it might be forced to introduce an alternative means of payment, in parallel to the euro, to pay some domestic bills if a reform-for-cash deal with its creditors is not secured soon, several euro zone officials said.
March 31, 2015: Could Syriza boost the co-operative economy in Greece? While the Eurogroup discusses its next steps following the decision to extend financial assistance to Greece by up to four months, there are indications that left-wing Syriza's win in January could boost the co-operative sector. Reaching an agreement with European counterparts remains the new government's top priority, but rebuilding the country's economy is another major pledge made by Syriza prior to this year's election.
March 31, 2015: Greece's Golden Dawn: Fascists at the Gate When some seventy members of the neo-Nazi organization Golden Dawn go on trial sometime this spring, there will be more than street thugs and fascist ideologues in the dock. A tangled web of influence is likely to engulf Greece's police, national security agency, wealthy oligarchs and mainstream political parties. While Golden Dawn--with its Holocaust denial, its swastikas and its Hitler salutes--looks like it might inhabit the fringe, in fact the organization has roots deep in the heart of Greece's political culture.
March 31, 2015, Bullet No. #1098: SYRIZA's Two Months in Government: Difficulties and Challenges, Elena Papadopoulou and Michalis Spourdalakis Almost a month after the agreement of the 20th of February between the new Greek government, the European Institutions and the IMF, we need to know where we stand. "We" in this case is not the government. It is not even Syriza's members and voters. "We" includes all those who understand the necessity of a strong democratic reply to aggressive neoliberalism and the austerity it imposes on the people of Europe, and who perceive the victory of Syriza as a gleam of hope against a conservative and reactionary turn of Europe.
March 30, 2015: In u-turn, Greece will sell Piraeus Port stake in weeks The Greek government will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, the country's deputy prime minister told China's official Xinhua news agency, a flip-flop from the leftist government as it seeks funds from its creditors. The Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January on promises to end painful austerity, saying it would halt a string of privatisations including the sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).
March 30, 2015: Both Greece and its creditors must compromise to prevent the risk of a Grexit Greece and its creditors have been engaged in a two-month standoff over the release of further financial assistance to the country. Lorenzo Codogno and Paul De Grauwe write that with no agreement yet reached, the possibility of Greece leaving the euro has now become real. They argue that the only solution to the crisis is for both sides to compromise, with the Greek government accepting deep supply-side reforms, and Eurozone policymakers offering Greece a fair deal on the demand-side.
March 29, 2015: GREXIT is preferable to a third MoU The Eurogroup, agreement of 20 February was the best possible option - or the least damaging - amongst the real options the Greek Government was presented with at that moment in time. The agreement allowed the Greek Government to escape the 'death trap' through banking system's strangulation, a trap set up by international as well as domestic hard-core austerity evangelists.
March 29, 2015: Greece's Brest-Litovsk SYRIZA's leadership claims that the putative dilemma between war and peace, or between exiting austerity and staying in the Euro, is not exhaustive. The third possibility is neither war nor peace.
March 28, 2015: Diary -- Alexander Clapp There's a town south of Budapest that Hungarians call Gorogfalva, 'Greek village'. Its official name is Beloiannisz, after Nikos Beloyannis, a communist commander in the Greek Civil War. After the left's defeat in 1949, some Greek communists fled to Yugoslavia, others to Central Asia; a handful built this settlement just outside the Great Hungarian Plain.
March 28, 2015: Greece: Tsipras meets Merkel for eurozone crisis talks It's the meeting that had to happen. A radical left-wing Greek prime minister and a centre-right German chancellor whose ministers have been urging her to throw Greece out of the eurozone and impose 'the rules'.
March 27, 2015: Time Isn't on Our Side Ever since the media spin that presented the February 20 agreement between the Greek government and the Eurogroup as almost a victory started subsiding, the main argument of its supporters has been that 'it bought some time.' Some concessions had to be made, proponents say, but they took place within the framework of a 'propellant compromise,' to use the terminology of deputy prime minister and prominent figure of Syriza's 'realists' Yiannis Dragasakis.
March 27, 2015: Breaking the vicious circle Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as the European rulers' pressure on the left-wing government remained unrelenting, pushing Greece closer to bankruptcy.
March 27, 2015: Tsipras letter to Merkel: the annotated text If you didn't know what the standoff over Greece's bailout was all about, Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister, has provided an excellent primer in a letter sent a week ago to his German counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who he is scheduled to meet Monday night in Berlin.
March 26, 2015: Athens: Crisis, racism & new figures of resistance I've not seen the centre of Athens so black since August of 2012 and the massive protest against the onset of the Xenios Zeus anti-immigrant police sweeps. Not the black of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.
March 26, 2015: Syriza and Its Discontents One of the key talking points for Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza leadership for the last few years has been that political power is not 'won' in elections; that power must be created; that it comes from below.
March 26, 2015: Greece and the European Neoliberal Cage, Dimitris Pavlopoulos and Yiorgos Vassalos SYRIZA's victory in the Greek elections of 25 January raised a wave of hope across Europe. The dominance of the austerity-oriented conservative and social democratic parties was at last challenged by the victory of a leftist anti-austerity party, signalling a possible change of course in Europe.
March 25, 2015: What's Next for Greece? Debating Syriza's Options In the weeks following its historic victory in the Greek elections on January 25, 2015, Syriza has been engaged in a bitter struggle. Syriza wants to implement the anti-austerity program it proposed to the Greek people during the election campaign.
March 25, 2015: Athens marches against racism and fascism I've not seen the centre of Athens so black since August of 2012 and the massive protest against the onset of the Xenios Zeus anti-immigrant police sweeps.
March 25, 2015: Shocking austerity: Greece's poor lost 86 per cent of income, but rich only 17-20 per cent Greece's unbalanced austerity and drastic increase of poverty. The poorest households in the debt-ridden country lost nearly 86% of their income, while the richest lost only 17-20%. The tax burden on the poor increased by 337% while the burden on upper-income classes increased by only 9% !!! This is the result of a study that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 - 2012.
March 24, 2015: Out of the Euro! If everything goes well, then what has been happening before our eyes in the last few days is the beginning of the end of the European monetary union. 'If the Euro collapses, then so does Europe,' said Chancellor Merkel, when it was a question of selling to the electors one of the horrendous 'rescue packages' for the European banks.
March 23, 2015: Greece is Just the Tip of the Iceberg for the $100 Trillion Bond Bubble Greece, as a country, represents 2% of Europe's GDP. The country lied in its financial to enter the EU. Since that time, it's been officially bankrupt since 2010. The country has since gone through a series of 'bailouts' and experienced a 25% collapse in GDP (roughly equivalent to what Argentina experienced in its 2001 implosion).
March 23, 2015: Don't pass new anti-poverty law, commission tells Greece At less than 24 hours' notice the European Commission has vetoed a key law set to be passed by the Greek parliament tomorrow. The so-called 'humanitarian crisis bill' was set to provide free electricity for some households, and address poverty among pensioners and homeless families.
March 22, 2015: Tsipras' economic policy architect resigns Giannis Milios, a member of Syriza's central committee and long time economic advisor to Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, resigned Wednesday (18 March), on the eve of a crucial EU meeting in Brussels.
March 22, 2015: Special committee on Greek debt is formed House Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou on Tuesday announced the formation of a committee whose purpose will be to audit the country's public debt. MEP Sofia Sakorafa and Belgian political scientist and public debt expert Eric Toussaint will be on the new committee.
March 22, 2015: Documenting the Greek Depression: The crisis narratives Since the global financial crisis, Greece has been a regular feature in European media, displayed as one of the hardest hit EU countries, a place with skyrocketing debt, mass unemployment and crippling austerity programmes being forced upon it, resulting in heightened social tension amongst its residents.
March 21, 2015: German politicians admit Greece has case for wartime reparations Several senior Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens in Germany have for the first time said their nation should consider paying reparations to Greece for Nazi crimes committed during the second world war, breaking ranks with Angela Merkel's government.
March 21, 2015: Presenting an agenda for Europe at AMBROSETTI Within the Eurozone the illusion of riskless risk was reinforced by the fantasy that (in a union built on the Principle of Perfectly Separable Public Debts and Separate Banking Systems,) lending to a Greek entity was more or less equally risky as lending to a Bavarian one. As a result, net trade surpluses gave rise to net capital flows into the deficit nations, causing unsustainable bubbles in both the private and the public sectors.
March 20, 2015: Europe's trapdoor slams shut Nothing has changed with the 'new' agreement between Greece and its European 'partners' because the Greek so-called impossible triangle stands in their way. The three mutually incompatible vertices of the Greek impossible triangle are: The Syriza ruling party staying in power; Reversing the current Troika austerity programs; Greece staying in the euro.
March 20, 2015: Current Prospects for the Greek Economy In this interim report, we discuss the evolution of major macroeconomic variables for the Greek economy, focusing in particular on the sources of growth before and after the euro era, the causes and consequences of the continuing recession, and the likely results of the policies currently being implemented. Some preliminary suggestions for alternative policies are included.
March 19, 2015: Greece's Syriza Government: Meet the New Sheriff - Same as the Old Sheriff Let's go back in time. The year is 2012, and Syriza had just emerged upon the Greek political scene as Greece's new main opposition party. Greece, already battered by two years of economic depression and severe austerity measures, was in need of a 'savior,' and for a growing number of Greeks, Syriza represented the antidote to the poisonous policies of New Democracy and Pasok, the two parties that had interchangeably governed the country since the fall of the military junta in 1974.
March 19, 2015: Germany and Greece should look to Goethe to resolve their standoff On a quiet street in central Athens stands the bronze, modernist facade of the Goethe Institut, which has been teaching German and spreading enlightenment about German culture since 1952. Last week, the Greek government threatened to seize the building, together with holiday homes and other German assets.
March 18, 2015: Greece has plenty of options. It's just that none of them are good The choices for Greece now are clear. In the first option, the European Union makes allowances: maturities for loans, especially short-term ones, are extended; there are concessions on interest rates; debt may be replaced with securities without maturity and a coupon linked to growth - Keynes-style 'Bisque bonds'; the European Central Bank continues to support the liquidity needs of the Greek banks; and the hated Troika is renamed, to remove the odious association with the past.
March 18, 2015: The Syriza strategy has come to an end It is not new that Costas Lapavitsas, professor at SOAS in London, has been actively advocating Grexit - though this is the first time he does so since he was elected MP with Syriza in January 2015. His views were once again shunned not only by political opponents but also by ministers of his own party.
March 18, 2015: Fascism is a stage of capitalism The creators of Debtocracy and Catastroika return with a new documentary, Fascism Inc. The documentary Fascism Inc. aspires to be inspired and to inspire the anti-fascist movements across Europe, while continuing one of the largest independent journalism experiments.
March 17, 2015: Greece: Keynes or Marx? The Greeks are now in a so-called four-month breathing space, an extension of the existing 'bailout' programme agreed by the previous Conservative-led government with the Troika (the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF). Of course, this breathing space is already narrow and closing. The Greek economy continues to suffocate.
March 17, 2015: Germans tired of demands from Athens want Greece to leave euro Berlin cabdriver Jens Mueller says he's had it with the Greek government and he doesn't want Germany to send any more of his tax money to be squandered in Athens. 'They've got a lot of hubris and arrogance, being in the situation they're in and making all these demands,' said Mueller, 49, waiting for fares near the Brandenburg Gate. 'Maybe it's better for Greece to just leave the euro.'
March 17, 2015: Greece's real problem Greece's problem has been competitiveness for a very long time. It has run a large and persistent trade deficit for the last half-century.
March 16, 2015: It's Time to Kick Germany Out of the Eurozone Last year, Germany racked up a record trade surplus of 217 billion euros ($246 billion), second only to China in global export dominance. To some, this made Germany a bright spot in an otherwise anemic eurozone economy -- a 'growth driver,' as the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, puts it.
March 16, 2015: The ECB's Noose Around Greece: How Central Banks Harness Governments Remember when the infamous Goldman Sachs delivered a thinly-veiled threat to the Greek Parliament in December, warning them to elect a pro-austerity prime minister or risk having central bank liquidity cut off to their banks? It seems the European Central Bank (headed by Mario Draghi, former managing director of Goldman Sachs International) has now made good on the threat.
March 16, 2015: Greece: breaking illusions A recent poll conducted by the University of Macedonia found that 56% of those Greeks asked believed the Greek bailout extension had been a success compared with 24% who said it represented a failure. A Metron Analysis poll showed that more than two in three Greeks were satisfied with the way the government was negotiating with EU partners, while 76% were positive about the government's overall performance so far.
March 15, 2015: Thomas Piketty on the Euro Zone: 'We Have Created a Monster' In an interview with SPIEGEL, celebrated French economist Thomas Piketty speaks about Alexis Tsipras' election victory in Greece, Europe's inability to fix its financial woes and what EU leaders can learn from the United States.
March 15, 2015: Syriza-led Greece marks out a new tilt to the East Was it a bombastic threat or a plaintive warning? Either way, the speech by Greece's foreign minister Nikos Kotzias to a gathering of European counterparts in Riga last week certainly provided an arresting new angle on the ongoing drama of Athens' battle with Berlin to keep the euro but end the country's peonage to the troika of international lenders.
March 15, 2015: Athens threatens to seize German assets over WWII reparations Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos has said he is ready to sign an older court ruling that will enable the foreclosure of German assets in Greece in order to compensate the relatives of victims of Nazi crimes during the Second World War.
March 15, 2015: IMF Stands Firm, Forcing Greece and Syriza to Accept Hard Concessions Last week Greece received a four-month extension of its $277 billion bailout program. The parliaments of Finland, Estonia and, most importantly, Germany, as well as Greece's other EU partners, approved the bailout program that was agreed to Feb. 20, provided that Greece submit a list of planned reforms. Greece submitted six pages of reforms last Monday, but not all of Greece's creditors think they are sufficient.
March 15, 2015: Where does the Greek 'uprising' go from here? One month ago I argued here that SYRIZA's coming might signalize the time to overcome our fears. At the time, it was still an open issue whether the new government would prove prepared enough to radicalize its attitude in the course of the negotiations as a response to Germany's blackmailing methods.
March 14, 2015: Massive Contagion If Greece Leaves the Euro In an exclusive interview, Roubini Global Economics Co-Founder Nouriel Roubini discusses what a Greek exit from the euro would look like. He speaks to Bloomberg's Jonathan Ferro from the Ambrosetti Spring Workshop in Cernobbio, Italy.
March 14, 2015: Greece must reform and forget Syriza's 'false promises' Greece must realise there is no other way than to reform, European Central Bank governing council member Luc Coene said in an interview published on Saturday, telling Greeks they had been sold 'false promises' by radical leftists now in power.
March 13, 2015: Choosing a different path Last month, the new Greek government led by the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, agreed to an extension of the financial bailout organized by the so-called Troika (the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the condition that previous Greek governments accept the drastic austerity measures contained in a series of Memorandums. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis retreated wholesale on SYRIZA's commitment to reverse austerity and to demand cancellation of the greater part of Greece's massive foreign debt.
March 13, 2015: Greece: A choice between rupture and humiliation, Panagiotis Sotiris The statement of the Eurogroup on 20 February, which was accepted by the Greek government, marked a significant retreat for SYRIZA in respect of its pre-election promises and the 'red lines' it had set at the beginning of this negotiation. In fact, one might say that, at least in what concerned this stage of the negotiation, the Greek government was forced to capitulate.
March 13, 2015: Eyewitness Greece: The SYRIZA factor in European politics What does SYRIZA's victory means for politics in Europe, at both all-European and national levels? Both are closely intertwined, and since SYRIZA's January 25, 2015, electoral victory there have been having increasingly rapid feedback effects.
March 13, 2015: Greece: The gathering storm As the dust settles from Greece's negotiations with its lenders and the arduous work of implementing their agreement begins, it is becoming increasingly evident that the next four months will be an extremely testing experience for everyone concerned.
March 13, 2015: Economist Roger Bootle: 'Grexit' Is the Only Solution for Greece Roger Bootle is the founder and chairman of Capital Economics in London, a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and a regular columnist for The Daily Telegraph. He is the winner of the Wolfson Prize in Economics for his proposal as to how a eurozone member-state could safely manage an exit from the euro. The following is an interview with him.
March 12, 2015: Where are we going after the agreement? The austerity agreement with the Eurogroup negotiated by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was hotly debated at a Central Committee meeting of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, convened at the end of February. An amendment opposing the agreement as a retreat from SYRIZA's commitment to reverse the austerity agenda contained in the Memorandums signed by previous governments was defeated, but by a narrow margin, with a number of supporters of Tsipras' majority current within SYRIZA supporting the position of the Left Platform.
March 12, 2015: Greece: Phase Two Much -- too much -- has been written in a journalistic, superficial vein about Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and last month's negotiations with the European Union. But now that the lines have hardened and are clearer for us all to see, a new situation has opened up.
March 12, 2015: Greece's fundamental problem, lack of income, hasn't changed Greece's problems have been resolved for somewhere between a few days and four months, with the parties having agreed to possibly agree to a tentative four-month extension of Greece's existing bailout programme - but only if certain conditions are met.
March 12, 2015: The Next Four Months Since the beginning of the economic crisis, a considerable part of the Greek left has argued that the only realistic alternative for the country is to default on its debts, exit the eurozone, and start printing its own currency. Freed from Europe's monetarist prison, the argument runs, Greece would be in a better position to radically restructure its economy in anti-capitalist directions. Such a prospect requires a well-thought-out and detailed 'Plan B' in order to confront the enormous challenges that would follow.
March 12, 2015: Varoufakis Says Greece Was Never Going To Repay Its Debts; He's Right Too Yanis Varoufakis has gone and annoyed an awful lot of Terribly Serious People by simply stating the truth. The thing is that he's absolutely right in what he says, that Greece was never going to repay all of its debts and any arrangements that pretended it would were simply ridiculous on the face of it.
March 12, 2015: Austerity Is Not Greece's Problem When looking out a window, it is easy to be fooled by your own reflection and see more of yourself than the outside world. This seems to be the case when US observers, influenced by their own country's fiscal debate, look at Greece.
March 11, 2015: Venezuela and Greece Strengthen Partnerships Venezuela and Greece solidified a bilateral partnership this week, when Venezuelan officials visited the Mediterranean country to meet the new Syriza government. Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodriguez met with the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Friday, who said that solidifying the relationship between the two countries would mutually benefit the Greek and Venezuelan people.
March 11, 2015: Greece: The gathering storm As the dust settles from Greece's negotiations with its lenders and the arduous work of implementing their agreement begins, it is becoming increasingly evident that the next four months will be an extremely testing experience for everyone concerned.
March 11, 2015: Give Greece a chance The Syriza government coming into office has a double significance: In Greece, it is a matter of responding to humanitarian emergencies, restoring social rights and starting to rebuild a destroyed and/or privatised production apparatus. In Europe, it concerns breaking with the pro-austerity unanimity and the hegemony of the German government's ordoliberalism over the euro zone.
March 11, 2015: Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals Greece's provisional agreement with creditors to avert a default started to crack as European officials said the country's latest proposals fell far short of what was put forward two weeks ago and Greek ministers floated the prospect of a referendum if their reforms are rejected.
March 11, 2015: High-stakes European poker: a reply to Curzon Price In the current poker game between Greece and the EU, Tony Curzon Price thinks that Syriza holds a winning hand. His argument is that if the EU does not agree to Syriza's demands, Greece can choose to leave the Euro, redenominate its debts into a new devalued currency, impose currency controls and regain control of its own economy. A Greek exit would force losses onto German banks, while Greece itself would recover as Iceland did.
March 11, 2015, Bullet No. #1089: Syriza's Only Choice: A Radical Step Forward, Spyros Lapatsioras, John Milios and Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos The transitional "bridge Agreement" of the 20th of February is a truce intended by the Greek government and welcomed by the other side (the European 'institutions'). Within the truce period (the next four months), the conditions for negotiating the next agreement will be shaped. This could mean that everything is still open. However, that is not true for two reasons. First, the very transitional agreement changes the balance of power.
March 10, 2015: Alter Summit ... on Greece Alter Summit will organize its next assembly where we will talk about Climate and TTIP mobilizations, and of course about the situation in Greece and the resistances against austerity in Europe.
March 10, 2015: On the Independent Greeks; and on Alliances Six weeks ago, when Syriza formed a coalition with the Independent Greeks the most common view among my friends was that this was Syriza's first betrayal and that others would inevitably follow. The story was familiar; outside government, Syriza had promised to do politics differently, including granting 100,000 migrant children in Greece full citizenship.
March 10, 2015: Crisis, Debt and the Development Perspective The essays included in this edition, on the one hand make a critical examination of the current economic situation in the Eurozone, with a particular focus on the countries subject to structural adjustment programs, while on the other consider alternative sets of policies for a development framework for Europe to counter the prolonged stagnation resulting from the ongoing implementation of neoliberal policies.
March 10, 2015: We need the support of people from Spain and the whole of Europe The new Syriza government in Greece has raised hopes across Europe. Their Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, is in contact with the troika and Greece's creditors to renegotiate the payment of the country's debt. With this as a backdrop, Katrina Sergidou, member of the Syriza Coordination Committee in Athens is in Madrid. Her presence is motivated by the presentation of the manifesto 'For the change in Greece', a platform seeking popular support for the new Greek government and its demands.
March 9, 2015: The worrying re-legitimation of Golden Dawn The intervention of SYRIZA MP and Speaker of the House Zoi Konstantopoulou during the first (and so far sole) session of the Greek Parliament sent a chill through the country's anti-fascist movement. The Speaker proposed the postponement of the parliamentary sitting because the District Attorney had not given permission to the MPs of Golden Dawn (Nikolaos Michaloliakos, Ilias Kasidiaris and Co.) to attend.
March 9, 2015: The Enduring Logic of Austerity It has gradually entered our awareness that the Greek trade account is now balanced. Greece no longer depends on financial markets (or official transfers, or remittances from workers abroad) to finance its imports. This is obviously important for negotiations with the 'institutions,' or at least it ought to be.
March 9, 2015: Energy Democracy in Greece Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession, governments have mostly scaled back or deemphasized their climate protection and 'green' commitments. Lack of public funds and concerns about growth, competitiveness, and unemployment are frequently cited as explanations for this apparent loss of both ambition and urgency. The 'green growth' narrative that colored various countercyclical 'stimulus' spending packages from 2009-10 has been largely abandoned.
March 9, 2015: Can Greece defy the Troika?, Barry Finger The agreement signed between Greece and the EU after three weeks of negotiations is widely lamented on the left as a setback, if not a defeat, for Syriza. The two sides emerged from the agreement, if that is an accurate description, with different interpretations of the memorandum, signifying perhaps that no real deal was made after all. Greece obtained brief reprieve. Its banks will remain liquid for the next few months. The next phase will not be about what can be extracted from the troika, as much as what Greece can do despite and in defiance of the troika.
March 9, 2015: Syriza Offers Free Food and Electricity in First Legislation Greece's new ruling party, Syriza, used its first legislative act in parliament to confront what it refers to as the country's 'humanitarian crisis,' offering free food and electricity to the most impoverished. As the rest of the world looks on and speculates over the left-wing government's economic deals with Europe, Syriza is pressing on with its planned social reforms, demonstrating it is honoring its pre-election pledges.
March 8, 2015: Greek bailout was 'to save German & French banks' This was never said officially before! 'They gave money to save German and French banks, not Greece,' Paolo Batista, one of the Executive Directors of International Monetary Fund told Greek private Alpha TV on Tuesday. Batista strongly criticized not only the euro zone and the European Central Bank but also the IMF and the Fund's managing Director Christine Lagarde for defending Europe much too much.
March 8, 2015: It's Time for Greece's Left to Get On Board Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis sent a letter last week to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the group of eurozone finance ministers, outlining the reforms that Athens would push through during the approved four-month extension of the country's bailout.
March 8, 2015: Crisis, Debt and the Development Perspective The essays included in this edition, on the one hand make a critical examination of the current economic situation in the Eurozone, with a particular focus on the countries subject to structural adjustment programs, while on the other consider alternative sets of policies for a development framework for Europe to counter the prolonged stagnation resulting from the ongoing implementation of neoliberal policies. After the Greek elections and the emergence of a widespread solidarity movement throughout Europe the issues raised in this volume are coming again to the fore.
March 8, 2015: The Nicos Poulantzas I knew At that time, Nicos knew nothing of my own theoretical and political pedigree. He had no reason to worry about that, since Emir had vouched for me. But we belonged to very different tribes of Marxists: he was an Althusserian whereas I was a Lukácsian, he was semi-Maoist and then a Eurocommunist, whereas I was a Trotskyist.
March 7, 2015: SYRIZA leader: 'Less words, more action' needed now Support for the Greek government headed by radical left party SYRIZA is growing, new polls show. The polls also found high support for SYRIZA's negotiations with its creditors, which secured a deal to extend its loans package by four months.
March 7, 2015: Syriza's weekend central committee meeting We express our disagreement with the agreement and the list of
reforms agreed with the Eurogroup. Both texts represent an undesirable compromise for our country and move in directions and orientations are within, which, in their essential points, move away or are in plain contrast with the programmatic commitments of SYRIZA.
March 7, 2015: Profitability, the euro crisis and Icelandic myths As I have said in a previous post, Slovenia is likely to be the next Eurozone state that will require a bailout after Cyprus. Slovenia's banks need €1bn for recapitalisation after taking heavy losses on the commercial property development bust and on falling government debt prices (Italy?).
March 7, 2015: Syriza on a Tightrope Syriza remains popular with the Greek public. But the strategies developed over the next four months will determine the party's future.
March 7, 2015: The Greek Saga This paper reviews the alternative explanations offered to explain the Greek crisis and checks there analytical and empirical validity. The first part focuses on the mainstream explanations. It distinguishes three main versions ('Greek disease', EMU is an unrectifiable non-OCA, EMU has problems but can be rectified).
March 7, 2015: Turning the European Debt Myth Upside-Down Myths are dangerous because they rely more on cultural memory and prejudice than facts. And behind the current crisis between Greece and the European Union (EU) lies a fable that bears little relationship to why Athens and a number of other countries in the 28-member organization find themselves in deep distress.
March 6, 2015: The Economic Consequences of Greece The first sentence of the 1957 Treaty of Rome - the founding document of what would eventually become the European Union - calls for 'an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe.' Recently, however, that ideal has come under threat, undermined by its own political elite, which adopted a common currency while entirely neglecting the underlying fault lines.
March 6, 2015: To beat austerity, Greece must break free from the euro The agreement signed between Greece and the EU after three weeks of lively negotiations is a compromise reached under economic duress. Its only merit for Greece is that it has kept the Syriza government alive and able to fight another day.
March 5, 2015: The European Union is Dead As the rapidly developing situation in Europe brings the question of its political union to the fore, Franco 'Bifo' Berardi argues that the European Union is beyond reform, and that its overthrow will either come from reactionary nationalists or a new European reunification based on radically different principles- 'Is this doable, is this imaginable?'.
March 5, 2015: Greece: breaking illusions A recent poll conducted by the University of Macedonia found that 56% of those Greeks asked believed the Greek bailout extension had been a success compared with 24% who said it represented a failure.
March 5, 2015: Solidarity with the Greek people! The electoral victory of Syriza and the rout of the parties committed to repecting the demands of the Troika was also a frontal challenge to the European ruling classes and institutions.
March 4, 2015: Greece lashes out as pressure to reform rises Germany and the rest of euro zone have begun to tighten the screws on the Greek government, urging it to implement reforms it promised to get its four-month extension on its bailout now. However in the meantime, Athens has only managed this weekend to alienate itself further from its neighbors.
March 4, 2015: Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov't decision on plan permit Hellas Gold and its workers at the gold mine in Skouries, Halkidiki, have vowed to take legal action after the government announced on Friday that it would be recalling the permit for a processing plant on the site and reviewing the terms under which it was issued.
March 4, 2015: Confronting the concessions to austerity The new Greek government's agreement with the Eurogroup for a four-month bailout of the financial system and the accompanying austerity measures ignited a passionate debate among members and supporters of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA.
March 4, 2015: Syriza and the Radical Break That the Greek government blinked last Friday has become increasingly clear. Early reactions of measured support for Syriza's deal with the Eurogroup have been followed by sharper critiques from the party's left wing and growing calls for Greece to exit the eurozone, even on the pages of the Financial Times. Perhaps the greatest test came during an internal vote by the parliamentary team of Syriza earlier this week, with roughly one third in attendance rejecting the deal.
March 3, 2015: The Costs of Grexit Earlier this week, following days of tense discussions, the new government in Athens reached an agreement with its eurozone creditors that includes a package of immediate reforms and a four-month extension of the financial assistance program. But, despite Europe's collective sigh of relief, the compromise does not preclude the need for further tough negotiations on a new financial-assistance program that should be introduced by the end of June.
March 3, 2015: Greek European deal: where are we? The European deal done six days ago was supposed to stabilise the Greek debt crisis. In return for a bit of fiscal autonomy the Syriza government (a) recognised its debts as legitimate (b) gave its lenders a running veto on any measures taken that might impact on the economy, the banks or the budget balance.
March 3, 2015: The new left in Europe needs to be radical - and European 'A spectre is haunting Europe' read a recent headline in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, announcing the round of meetings between the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his European counterparts. Just think of what would happen if Podemos wins in Spain: the spectre would turn into a monster, propelled by one of Europe's largest economies.
March 3, 2015: A deal that traps SYRIZA in neoliberalism Leaders of the new Greek government of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, retreated from their commitment to reverse years of austerity inflicted on the country with an agreement with the Eurogroup to extend Greece's financial bailout.
March 3, 2015: We need to be honest about what is happening in Greece The leadership of Syriza said during the election that under no circumstances would they leave the euro. But if they won the election, they would be able to persuade the governments of other European countries to allow them to end austerity and stimulate the economy. This turned out not to work. Once Syriza has begun the negotiations by promising not to leave the euro, the leaders of the other governments knew they could humiliate Syriza. So they did.
March 2, 2015: The Greek Debt and the German Acquiescence Initially, Germany stood firm in saying Greece would have to sign the existing loan program in order to secure an extension, but this was always an untenable position, says Professor James K. Galbraith, academic colleague and advisor to Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
March 2, 2015: Ending austerity in Greece: time for plan B? When the Eurogroup accepted Greece's reform proposals on Tuesday, investors and EU leaders let out a collective sigh of relief: it appears that the bombshell of a disorderly Greek exit from the Eurozone has been diffused, at least until the start of the summer. In return for a significant roll-back of its campaign pledges, Greece's freshly inaugurated government secured a four-month extension of its current bailout program and thereby managed to avert a potentially catastrophic bank run that would likely have resulted in Grexit.
March 2, 2015: Of Greeks and Germans: Re-imagining our shared future Any sensible person can see how a certain video has become part of something beyond a gesture. It has sparked off a kerfuffle reflecting the manner in which the 2008 banking crisis began to undermine Europe's badly designed monetary union, turning proud nations against each other.
March 2, 2015: Syriza MPs revolt against the agreement The SYRIZA Parliamentary Group has expressed serious reservations about the Eurogroup deal signed by finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, and called for an immediate realisation of pre-election commitments. In a twelve hour-long internal discussion, most Syriza MPs criticised the deal while a minority, led by the Left Platform, voted against it in an informal vote.
March 1, 2015: Greece won't get 'a single euro' till pledges met: Germany German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed Wednesday that Greece, having won breathing space in its debt talks, will not receive 'a single euro' until it meets the pledges of its existing bail-out programme.
March 1, 2015: Kind of a different state? Among socialists and the radical left around the world, all eyes have been on Greece and SYRIZA--during the election campaign leading up to the January 25 vote that put the left to power in Greece for the first time in the post-Second World War era; during the opening days and weeks of the new government, when veteran radicals took over ministries and began carrying out long-awaited changes, with the promise of more to come; and now after the disappointing headlong retreat of the leaders of the new government in their first confrontation with the rulers of Europe over the austerity agenda.
March 1, 2015: Ending the Creditor's Paradise As I sat in my office at Brown University on December 16, 2014, an email popped into my inbox with the title Herzlichen Glückwunsch. This was the award given by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the research foundation closest to the German Social Democratic Party, and the Hans-Matthöfer Stiftung for the best economics publication in German in 2014. I was, to say the least, surprised.
March 1, 2015: European Banks vs. Greek Labour Michael Hudson says Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is proposing austerity on the banking class, rather than the working class, to balance the budget.
March 1, 2015: The left needs to confront its illusions about the EU Katainen was responding to the election of the radical left coalition Syriza in Greece last month. But his words could form the motto not just for the unelected European Commission but for the European Union itself.
March 1, 2015: Syriza and socialist strategy With Stathis Kouvelakis, member of Syriza's central committee and Alex Callinicos, editor, International Socialism.
February 27, 2015: A view from Athens: why the left shouldn't put all its faith in Syriza On 25 January, Syriza, the left-wing party of Alexis Tsipras, won the national elections. That evening, my friend 'Karma' (his nickname), a Greek-American living in Athens, sent me this text message: 'I went downtown for the victory speech, and was blown away. We're NOT in Kansas any more! No more Carmina Burana: they played Pink Floyd, The Clash, Bella Ciao, Springsteen and Patti Smith!'
February 27, 2015: Golden Dawn and the 'Dark Forces' Change is in the air in Athens. We have felt it. This past November we were guests at a workshop attended by Greek and foreign academics and politicians, police union representatives, current and retired Hellenic Police officers (including high-ranking ones), and Syriza's members of parliament and central committee representatives. A meeting of the radical left and the police: it was unprecedented.
February 27, 2015: The rise of Europe's new Left, Bryan Evans A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of a failing capitalism unable to deliver the broad-based prosperity and stability it once did. And in several countries, it is even less than this. As the Great Financial Crisis deepened and spread through 2007-08, alarmed governments and central banks mobilized an unprecedented intervention. The rapid and unexpected reanimation of Keynesianism encouraged Centre-left types to declare the Reagan-Thatcher neoliberal counter-revolution dead. Recent history has proven otherwise.
February 27, 2015: Privatizations in Energy sector cause rift in Greek government Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis declared absolute negative towards privatizations in Greece's energy sector. 'There is not going to be any privatization in DEH [Public Power Company] in DEPA [natural gas distribution operator ] or ELPE [Petroleum Company]. I repeat what I have said until today,' Lafazanis told daily TA NEA.
February 27, 2015: Syriza wins time and space So is it true, as many of the papers tell us, that Athens has given in to the Eurogroup's demands (as La Repubblica puts it) or that it has take the first step toward returning to austerity policies (as the Guardian reports)? If we believe certain leaders of the left wing of Syriza, the new government's courage didn't last long, and the 'capitulation' has already begun.
February 27, 2015: Greece: a simple macroeconomic guide In 2010 periphery Eurozone countries, including Greece, faced two problems: government deficits were too high, and as a result their economies had become uncompetitive. (Excessive deficits - public or subsequently socialised private - had allowed the economy to run too hot which pushed up inflation leading to a loss of competitiveness.)
February 26, 2015: Greece: a debt colony with a bit of 'home rule' On Friday night the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, averted total surrender to a German led demand for Greece to implement the total austerity programme of its former conservative government. He did so by signing up immediately to a compromise that, in his mind, retained about 20 per cent of the programme Syriza was elected on.
February 26, 2015: The juicy interview of Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis Earlier this morning, Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister gave a 28-minute long phone interview to the mainstream Greek radio station, REAL FM. The person conducting the interview is no other than Nikos Hatzinikolaou, a prominent journalist who is the face of the station [he also owns it], and has turned into sort-of-a media mogul during the years of the crisis.
February 26, 2015: The Intersection of Three Crises Within the past two weeks, a temporary deal to keep Greece in the eurozone was reached in Brussels, a cease-fire roadmap was agreed to in Minsk and Iranian negotiators advanced a potential nuclear deal in Geneva.
February 26, 2015: Weisbrot and Krugman are Wrong: Greece cannot pull off an Argentina There are two arguments against the recommendation that Greece and Argentina are similar enough to warrant an Argentinian road for Greece. There are those, like the Cato Institute and IMF diehards, who never forgave Argentina for having successfully escaped the clutches of the poisonous austerity (and internal devaluation) that the IMF had imposed upon the country so as to sacrifice a whole people's prosperity in the interest of creditors.
February 26, 2015: The list of reform measures, as envisaged by the Greek government Dear President of the Eurogroup, In the Eurogroup of 20 February 2015 the Greek government was invited to present to the institutions, by Monday 23rd February 2015, a first comprehensive list of reform measures it is envisaging, to be further specified and agreed by the end of April 2015.
February 26, 2015: Monbiot's misguided monetary reforms Joseph Schumpeter observed that 'a sharply-defined type of social reform monomaniac sees money, its reform or abolition, as a social panacea'. These words came to mind while reading George Monbiot's suggestion that alternative monetary arrangements hold the potential to transform Greece and release it from its current state of purgatory. Monbiot attributes ultimate responsibility for the unfolding Greek tragedy not to the Northern European states that have forced self-defeating austerity upon Greece, but to the 'private banks' that have used European state institutions as their 'intermediaries'.
February 26, 2015: A Reply to the Sophists Since Syriza was elected, Stathis Kouvelakis, who is a member of the party's Central Committee, has been providing vital insight and analysis of the rapidly developing situation in Greece. Below he addresses current understandings of the Greek government's agreement with the Eurogroup, including that of Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra, posted earlier today.
February 26, 2015: Greek surrender: When all hope is gone Syriza's pre-election motto 'Hope is Coming' had U.S. President Barack Obama's narrative written all over it. The language was not as soaring as that of Obama's 2008 discourse on hope, but it relied on equally vague generalisations and empty promises as the party's leadership under Alexis Tsipras declared its intention to put an end to the catastrophic path of austerity in Greece by changing Europe's economy.
February 26, 2015: The Eurogroup noose tightens around Greece European governments and financial institutions have kept their stranglehold on Greece after the new government agreed to an extension of the bailout, reports Alan Maass.
February 26, 2015: The SYRIZA Moment: A Skeptical Argument, The Polemicist The victory of Syriza in Greece is an important moment. Indeed, I think it is going to be a historic turning point for Europe and the world, for better or for worse. Syriza defines itself explicitly as "as a party of the democratic and radical Left," and radical it is. It's comprised of "many different ideological currents and left cultures," "has its roots in popular struggles for Greek independence, democracy and labour and anti-fascist movements," and includes serious and influential socialist, Marxist, and generally anti-capitalist currents.
February 25, 2015: The debate in Syriza concerning Grexit Consider three people. First, Costas Lapvistas is the recently-elected Syriza MP for Imathia and a lecturer in economics at SOAS. Four years ago, he was at the heart of an intense debate within Syriza as to whether the party should have a policy of leaving the Eurozone ('Grexit').
February 25, 2015: Greek choices after the elections In the days ahead of the Greek snap elections on 25 January 2015 a huge range of opinions has appeared on what Greece and its lenders should do. A large group of people are saying that Greek public debt is unsustainable and a significant part of it should be written off. In their view, the Troika is responsible for the deep crisis, austerity has failed, and the fiscal space gained from the debt write-off should be used to stimulate growth.
February 25, 2015: Varoufakis Keeps Greece in the Eurozone, by its Fingernails It's not easy to negotiate with a gun to your head. Nevertheless, that's the situation Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis found himself in on Friday preceding a crucial meeting with the Eurogroup. According to one report, the objective of the last-ditch confab 'was to prepare a consensus text that would be the basis for the discussion' with the EU's finance ministers.
February 25, 2015: Greece, Germany and Global Finance Regardless of rumors of pending resolution, the crisis in Greece is escalating with capital flight, an imminent government funding shortfall and terms being forced on it by the European North, particularly Germany, that are (1) politically, economically and socially untenable and (2) guaranteed to exacerbate the manufactured economic crisis that the EU claims it wants to resolve.
February 25, 2015: Missing from the Greek deal: figures There's a crucial thing absent from the Greek letter to the Eurogroup, outlining the reforms they intend to carry out: it's as if Yanis Varoufakis' laptop was missing the key marked €.
February 25, 2015: Greece: 'third world' aid and debt One of the cruel ironies of the last minute deal between the Eurogroup and the Greek government for a four month extension to the existing 'aid' programme monitored by the Troika is that in any sane meaning it is not aid at all.
February 25, 2015: A Different Kind of State Writer and researcher Michal Rozworski interviews Leo Panitch about the difficulties of working within political constraints while trying to transcend them, the role of international solidarity, and the importance of political organization. The interview took place last Thursday, just one day before Greece signed an agreement with the Eurogroup to extend, with modifications, its current bailout program for four months.
February 25, 2015: Greece's Leaders Face a Revolt at Home as They Try to Appease Creditors Greek leaders scrambled on Sunday to come up with a list of proposed changes to the nation's austerity program that would be acceptable to their creditors by a Monday deadline, even as they faced a revolt by members of their own radical-left party, angered that the government had bent to demands by Brussels.
February 25, 2015: Greece: Five questions require an answer The agreement of the Eurogroup is not completed, partly because we do not know yet what 'reforms' will be proposed by the Greek government today (Monday, February 23) and which of them will be accepted. But those who have been elected on the basis of SYRIZA program and believe the promises of Thessaloniki as our commitment to the Greek people, we have deep concerns. It is our obligation to record.
February 25, 2015: Reading The Greek Deal Correctly On Friday as news of the Brussels deal came through, Germany claimed victory and it is no surprise that most of the working press bought the claim. They have high authorities to quote and to rely on. Thus from London The Independent reported: several analysts agreed that the results of the talks amounted to a humiliating defeat for Greece.
February 24, 2015: Stathis Kouvelakis: 'Going on this way can only mean defeat' After Greece's agreement with the European Union - with the aid programme being extended in exchange for the continuation of structural reforms - the new government has arrived at an impasse. The hopes of those seeking an end to austerity have not even lasted a month. Stathis Kouvelakis, member of the Syriza central committee and reader in political theory at King's College London comments on these developments in this interview.
February 24, 2015: ANTARSYA Press Release regarding the deal between Brussels and the Greek Government Yesterday's joint statement by the Eurogroup, which the SYRIZA ANEL(Independant Greeks) agreed to, is an unacceptable subordination to the demands of creditors. It comes in direct conflict with the desire, the expectations and demands of the labor movement and the people to end the austerity and exit the catastrophic memoranda and the humiliating control. Rupture and not compromise with the interests of bankers to take back what was stolen from us and to win what we deserve.
February 24, 2015: Why Germany Might Not Be Bluffing in Greece As Europe's high-stakes debt negotiations with Greece reach an impasse, Germany has appeared surprisingly willing to drive the country out of the euro, regardless of the potentially dire repercussions for Italy, Portugal, Spain and the entire currency union. One possible explanation for Germany's brinkmanship: Its banks have a lot less to lose than they once did.
February 24, 2015: The agony of Greece Greek voters want to stay in the euro. They should be able to for at least another four months. Late in the evening on February 20th the finance ministers of the Eurogroup reached an agreement with Greece's government to extend the struggling economy's bail-out, which was scheduled to expire on February 28th.
February 24, 2015: Socialism or Barbarism? Syriza, Economics, and Democracy With the Syriza-led government locked in no-blink negotiations with Greece's creditors, especially Germany, it might be time to revive an old slogan of the left: Rosa Luxemburg's 'socialism or barbarism.' Restated for the 21st century, 'socialism' simply means that a people's judgments about its own economic life -- the kind of work people do, the kind of security they enjoy, the kind of dignity they feel -- come before the supposedly iron rules of the international economy. It would also be fair to call it 'economic democracy.'
February 24, 2015: No, Syriza has not surrendered Tom Walker looks at what Greece's government has agreed - and argues that buying time is not the same thing as breaking promises.
February 24, 2015: Syriza's mauling at the EU negotiations Syriza has been defeated in the first round of negotiations. After a period of enjoyable defiance, during which they won the backing of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people - 80% according to a poll taken before the latest deal, published in today's Avgi - they have come back with small change.
February 24, 2015: The Trouble with Dijsselbloem Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem's political career shows the rightward shift of European social democracy.
February 24, 2015: Benchmarking the Greece/Eurogroup Bailout Memo and Process Greece and the Eurozone have entered into what amounts to a letter of intent in the form of a memo released yesterday. It's important to understand, even as a basis for further negotiations, what this document is and is not. Because this is not a definitive agreement, as in it explicitly states that Greece's detailed structural reform proposals must be reviewed and approved by 'the institutions,' the new name for the Troika, as well as approval by the Eurogroup finance ministers before any funds are released, there is still uncertainty as to how its deliberate ambiguity will be resolved.
February 24, 2015: When a pause may be the best that could be acheived Syriza has won nothing; austerity has not been cancelled. The agreement signed by Syriza is in every respect except one unfavourable to Syriza's voters. The troika (now 'the institutions') still exists; if anything it will have greater powers, including an express veto over every aspect of Greek domestic policy.
February 23, 2015: How Greece Got Outmaneuvered To the surprise of nobody except a few alarmists, the finance ministers of the European Union reached a deal with Greece on Friday, extending the country's existing bailout until the early summer. Greece's new left-wing Syriza government had been telling everyone for weeks that it wouldn't agree to extend the bailout, and that it wanted a new loan agreement that freed its hands, which marks the deal as a capitulation by Syriza and a victory for Germany and the rest of the E.U. establishment.
February 23, 2015: Greece and Europe agree to a compromise, avoiding financial catastrophe Greece and European finance officials on Friday reached an 11th-hour deal to negotiate for four more months over a long-term plan to solve the country's financial woes and help ease an economic crisis that has consumed Europe for much of this decade. The agreement, in doubt for much of this week, avoids a potentially catastrophic exit by Greece from the euro zone.
February 23, 2015: A Note on Syriza: Indebted Yes, but Not Guilty! The idea one gets from our media is that the Syriza government in Greece is composed of a bunch of populist extremists who advocate 'irrational' and 'irresponsible' populist measures. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is, on the contrary, EU politics which have been, and continue to be, obviously irrational.
February 23, 2015: Syriza buys four months of breathing room, but at what cost?, Michal Rozworski Greece's government must use the time to mobilize and build anti-austerity links at home and abroad. Assuming its plan of reforms is accepted by the Eurogroup on Monday, Greece's Syriza government has gained four months of breathing room -- albeit in the same stuffy space, already full of the nauseating fumes of austerity, the window barely cracked.
February 23, 2015: Greece bends to Eurozone will to find short-term agreement At tonight's Eurogroup meeting, the Eurozone and Greece finally found a preliminary agreement which will lay the ground for the extension of financial assistance to Greece. Open Europe assesses who secured what and why Greece seems to have failed to achieve many of its goals.
February 23, 2015: MEP Manolis Glezos sharply criticizes Greek gov't for negotiations handling 'I ask the Greek people to forgive me for contributing to this illusion.' With this phrase veteran left politician, WWII resistance fighter and SYRIZA MEP Manolis Glezos slammed the Greek government for handling the negotiations with the country's lenders and so having changed the rhetoric of the party.
February 23, 2015: Eurogroup statement on Greece The Eurogroup reiterates its appreciation for the remarkable adjustment efforts undertaken by Greece and the Greek people over the last years. During the last few weeks, we have, together with the institutions, engaged in an intensive and constructive dialogue with the new Greek authorities and reached common ground today.
February 22, 2015: Greek debt negotiation: does this constitute a sell out? A deal has been made. But the deal made is sufficient to allow commentary to rage for days, perhaps even longer. Does this represent a full capitulation by the Greeks, a capitulation by the Germans, or simply a 'kicking of the can further down the road', as is so often the case when it concerns matters of the European Union?
February 22, 2015: Eurozone summit: the Greeks could face a fateful decision on Euro There is a moment in the movie Gettysburg, when the Union infantry are about to be overrun by the Confederates. The Union commander throws into the fray a rag-tag regiment of farmers from Maine led by professor of rhetoric Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. 'Now we'll see how professors fight,' says the general.
February 22, 2015: Troika, Grexit or Plan B? In this tortuous saga between the leaders of the Eurozone and the new Greek government over repaying its public sector debt and continuing with a Troika-imposed austerity programme, we must remember that the cause of all this mess is the failure of capitalism in Europe and Greece.
February 22, 2015: Greece's Fate in ECB's Hands if Eurogroup Talks Fail As most readers know well, Greece made concessions yesterday to the Eurogroup that, although contested as to how far they went, were seen as big enough concessions to win the support of Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Italy.
February 22, 2015: Why Greece Won't Ever Be Able to Pay Off Its Debts With Austerity The Greek negotiators who went to Brussels in mid-February to argue for more lenient terms from their lenders were especially concerned about one thing in any new deal: the target for achieving and keeping a primary surplus. A measure of austerity, it's what a government earns in taxes each year, minus what it spends on everything except interest payments on its own debt. It's usually expressed as a share of gross domestic product.
February 22, 2015: Seven Lessons from Greece For years, radical forces in Europe have only been able to resist austerity policies, rarely engaging in offensive strategic thought and action, and always from outside government. But on February 6, when thousands demonstrated in favor of the new Greek government, in front of an unpoliced and open parliament, it was clear that something significant had changed.
February 22, 2015: European Capitalism Today: Between the Euro and the Third Way Since the late 1970s, Western Europe's Golden Age of economic growth has plainly ended. 'Euro-pessimism,' 'euro-sclerosis,' and 'euro-stagnation' were just a few of the epitaphs written for Europe at the end of the twentieth century.
February 21, 2015: How Greece Put an Anti-Austerity, Anti-Capitalist Party in Power 'Hope is coming!' That's the slogan that Syriza, the left-wing Greek coalition party, used throughout the campaign to distinguish itself from its fear-mongering opponents on the right. But on the night of January 25, as Syriza won almost 36 percent of the vote and ascended to power, the slogan could have spoken for all of Europe.
February 21, 2015: Here's What Each Side Got in the Greece Negotiations The Eurogroup came to an agreement, of sorts, with Greece on Friday evening, Feb. 20. In an 18 against 1 negotiation, it was always likely that the 18 (the Eurogroup) were going to come off better than the 1 (Greece). Greece got enough, but only enough, to stop them from walking out again.
February 21, 2015: What The Eurogroup Demands Is Absurd Paul Krugman was interviewed by Evan Davis on the BBC's Newsnight programme on 17th February. The following is a transcript of the part of the interview dealing with the negotiations for a new deal for Greece.
February 21, 2015: Greece gets its deal.. But if the detail's wrong 'we're finished' The eurozone and IMF have done a deal with Greece, extending its bailout for four months in return for a commitment to run all policy measures with significant economic impact past the lenders. The second part of the deal has to be done on Monday, by Greece submitting a list of proposed measures.
February 21, 2015: Greece caves in a bit - but not enough for Germany Various market analysts were tweeting that Greece had 'blinked' in its stand-off with the eurozone authorities, and that it was all over bar the shouting. But it's more complicated - as the German finance ministry immediately noticed.
February 21, 2015: Europe Forged in Crisis: The Emergence and Development of the EU These are turbulent but confusing times in Europe. The Great Recession has taken a serious toll. In Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (the PIIGS), intervention by the EU in domestic policy seems unprecedented. Portugal, Ireland, and Greece were forced by financial markets into bailout agreements with the 'Troika.'
February 21, 2015: Moscovici's draft I & II to Varoufakis uploaded on internet The draft handed out by EU Monetary affairs Commissioner to Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis prior to the Eurogroup meeting has been leaked to the press. In his press conference, Varoufakis said that he would have signed it. But Dijsselbloem had later given him another draft and he described as 'unacceptable'.
February 21, 2015: On Syriza and Greece Michal Rozworski interviews Leo Panitch on the most recent developments in Greece. While there is a great deal of day-to-day drama at the level of the ongoing negotiations between Greece and European institutions, this interview takes a broader strategic and political look at what the election of Syriza both for Greece and more broadly for the left around the world, including in Canada.
February 20, 2015: How I became an erratic Marxist Before he entered politics, Yanis Varoufakis, the iconoclastic Greek finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff, wrote this searing account of European capitalism and and how the left can learn from Marx's mistakes.
February 20, 2015: Meeting on Greek Debt Produces an Ultimatum The standoff between Greece and its European lenders appeared to reach a new low on Monday as European officials handed Athens an ultimatum: Agree by Friday to continue with a bailout program or risk the funding that the country needs to avoid a default.
February 20, 2015: Not a single step backward! Negotiations between Greece's left-wing government and Eurozone finance ministers collapsed without an agreement on Monday, in a new escalation of a showdown that could force Greece into default and out of the euro currency.
February 20, 2015, Bullet No. #1083: Syriza Can Show 'Another Energy is Possible', Sean Sweeney During its first days in office, Syriza has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the EU's neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.
February 19, 2015: Syriza Holds Its Ground As the media and the Athens stock market (down 4 percent yesterday) had widely expected, yesterday's finance ministers' meeting ended in failure, perhaps even a momentous one.
February 19, 2015: The people are the real 'red line' In the EU open blackmail is the rule, not the exception... Yesterday's talks at the EUROGROUP not only offered proof of this assessment but also reminded everyone that the EU remains a deeply undemocratic and authoritarian institution.
February 19, 2015: Details of rejected draft Euro statement The Eurogroup finance ministers just broke up without agreement. I've seen the draft statement, rejected by the Greeks. It welcomed aspects of Syriza's plan but stumbled over the sentence: 'The Greek authorities have indicated that they intend to successfully conclude the programme, taking into account the new government's plans. In this context we intend to make best use of the existing built in flexibility in the current programme'.
February 19, 2015: Call to 'Let Greece Breathe' Sweeps Europe With the left-wing Syriza government not backing down on its electoral mandate to tackle austerity policies, despite ongoing pressure from other European governments, progressive movements across Europe are expressing their solidarity with Greece this weekend.
February 19, 2015: Analyze Greece! Cutting through the clichés and the caricatures, AnalyzeGreece! reports to English-language readers from the frontline of a crisis. The crisis is multifaceted. We highlight the resurgence of the far-right in Greece, while also scrutinizing increases in poverty and unemployment, the ebbing away of human rights, the marked shrinking of the public sphere as land and other publicly owned goods are sold off, the deepening of social exclusion and the explosion in inequality.
February 19, 2015: Greece: tensions rising after Eurogroup talks break up... As talks in Brussels over Greece's bailout programme break down, Stathis Kouvelakis comments on the vast disparity between the position of Eurozone finance ministers and the demands of the popular movement behind Syriza. Furthermore, he provides context to ongoing pressures within the party itself.
February 19, 2015: Give Greece Room to Maneuver Greece's lenders, most notably Germany, insist that they are defending important principles: a country must pay its debts, and the long-term success of the euro depends on everyone abiding by the rules.
February 19, 2015: Red lines and fiscal union It looks as though the negotiations between the Greek Syriza government and the Eurozone leaders will go right to the wire. It won't be clear whether there will be a deal or not until Monday 16 February, when the Eurogroup of finance ministers meet again.
February 18, 2015: Leak and counter-leak: how not to achieve a Greek deal Documents leaked to me last night shed new light, but not total clarity, on the dramatic breakdown of talks in Brussels over a new Greek bailout deal. On Monday afternoon the Greek delegation in Brussels told journalists a draft agreement presented at the start of the finance ministers meeting was 'unacceptable'. A vigorously crossed out sentence, in the writing of finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, indicated disapproval.
February 18, 2015: Greek Finance Ministry publishes Varoufakis' Eurogroup proposals In an unprecedented move, the Ministry of Finances has published a file of the proposals and presentations that Minister Yanis Varoufakis made at the recent Eurogroup sessions in Brussels. Included in the file are all of the Greek negotiating team's non papers, along with the proposals drafted by Pierre Moscovici and Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
February 18, 2015: Greece pledges to shut immigrant detention centers Greece's new left-wing government pledged on Saturday to close down detention centers for illegal immigrants that have long been criticized by rights groups as inhumane. A Pakistani man had died overnight at the Amygdaleza detention center in western Athens in a suspected suicide.
February 18, 2015: Weimar on the Aegean Try to talk about the policies we need in a depressed world economy, and someone is sure to counter with the specter of Weimar Germany, supposedly an object lesson in the dangers of budget deficits and monetary expansion. But the history of Germany after World War I is almost always cited in a curiously selective way.
February 18, 2015: Austerity Has Done Nothing to Solve Greece's Problems Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis has had little luck convincing his EU counterparts that Athens needs a debt cut. He speaks with SPIEGEL about why austerity has failed, how aid conditions are like waterboarding and where the bailout money went.
February 18, 2015: Yanis Varoufakis: No Time for Games in Europe I am writing this piece on the margins of a crucial negotiation with my country's creditors -- a negotiation the result of which may mark a generation, and even prove a turning point for Europe's unfolding experiment with monetary union.
February 18, 2015: Eurozone leaders believe Syriza must fail and be seen to fail In current discussions of what Greece might or might not get in the way of concessions from the Eurozone, there has so far been relatively little appreciation of one basic political reality: as far as the governments of Spain, Portugal, Ireland, probably Italy and perhaps even France are concerned, Syriza must fail and must be seen to fail.
February 18, 2015, Bullet No. #1082: Hard Talk, Sakis Gekas On January 25th, Syriza formed a government in Greece with the help of the ANEL (Independent Greeks). Within 24 hours direct attacks, threats and provocations aimed at the Greek government, about to begin negotiations with EU and Eurozone leaders, began.
February 17, 2015: Greek View on Austerity Worries Other Governments As Greek officials gird for a showdown with their European partners on Monday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's resistance to austerity has fueled political tensions in other countries that adopted severe belt-tightening during Europe's debt crisis, prompting their leaders to harden their opposition to demands from Athens.
February 17, 2015: Syriza in a bind We knew that the Syriza experience would provide an object lesson in politics, with all the fundamental bases of power and sovereignty being laid bare as the legal and financial niceties evaporated. And here we are: even sooner than we expected.
February 17, 2015: When demonstrations are not enough Viewing Syriza through the prism of British Marxism is not a wholly rewarding experience. I do not feel much sympathy for that minority of my former comrades who admire Syriza because they seem to see it as offering an example of a clique capturing the leadership of millions of people, who are attracted to Syriza not in so far as it is often principled but because it is sometimes opportunist, and who want to offer their services as leaders of the movement here by claiming some of the qualities of Syriza (such as its leaders' sharp-dressing and their relative youth) that are easiest to separate from the intense political crisis that makes these features engaging.
February 16, 2015: SYRIZA, socialists and the struggles ahead Greece's left-wing government is on a collision course with the rulers of Europe over the commitment of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, to reverse drastic austerity measures imposed under the Memorandums negotiated with the European Union (EU).
February 16, 2015: European Central Bank throws Greece lifeline before eurozone talks The European Central Bank has thrown Greece a lifeline to prevent Athens running out of money before crunch talks with European leaders. The extension of emergency funding to the Greek finance sector by the eurozone's central bankers lifted the euro and gave Greece's prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, a stronger hand before meetings with senior officials at the leaders summit in Brussels.
February 16, 2015: Looking past the first steps in Greece Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras formally introduced the new government's plans to confront the austerity agenda in a speech to parliament on Sunday. Two weeks earlier, the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, won a historic victory in parliamentary elections, trouncing the two main parties of Greek capitalism.
February 15, 2015: The causes of recovery: austerity, QE and the spending multiplier There is an irony in the face-off between the Euro leaders, the ECB and the Syriza government in Greece. It is that, in a world economy that has crawled along at a below trend growth rate since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009, there are signs that those Eurozone economies that have been in depression are beginning to show some signs of life after death.
February 15, 2015: Excerpts from programmatic statements in the Greek Parliament The new contract between Greece and Europe which will be reflected in a Medium Term Plan for National Reconstruction, respects the Eurozone operating rules, but does not condemn the Greek economy to eternal recession based on absurd and unreal requirements on primary surpluses, which are a different name of austerity.
I want to reassure the Parliament and the Greek people we are steadily working towards a viable agreement with our partners.
February 15, 2015: Germany between a rock and a hard place The truly historic victory of SYRIZA in Greece has catapulted its leader, the charismatic Alexis Tsipras, under the limelight. It befits to be reminded that his party is in reality an alliance regrouping former leftists, former communists, ecologists and former socialists.
February 15, 2015: Map of the Greek Radical Left Founded as an alliance in 2004, SYRIZA is a regroupment of left organizations around Synaspismos, by far from largest component. Since July 2013, SYRIZA is a unified party with no constituent organizations.
February 15, 2015: The Historic Victory of Greek Left: What Now?, Panitch, Leo; Peter Bratsis On January 25 2015, Greece elected a new government representative of a range of radical and left forces after years of protests and street battles against the extreme policies of austerity imposed by the so-called Troika composed of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Syriza represents the first and the strongest democratic response to the bizarre deepening of neoliberalism after the 2008 crisis.
February 14, 2015: The Greek people need our solidarity The Greek people have decided: On 25 January they did not only vote out of office a bankrupt government, but also rejected the politics of austerity which had been imposed on the country and which has taken it to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
February 14, 2015: Greece to grant legal recognition to same-sex couples Greece lags behind most of Western Europe on gay rights, banning same-sex adoption and refusing to recognise same-sex relationships. However, the radical left-wing Syriza party - which swept to power earlier this month - has confirmed it will seek recognition for same-sex couples.
February 14, 2015: Change the World by Taking Power For those of us who were until recently more sympathetic to Antarsya, the 'other' coalition on Greece's radical left, it is salutary to reflect on how well Syriza has done in the last month, and how poorly Antarsya has done by comparison.
February 13, 2015: Greece's port in a storm Day and night, the Chinese-run piers of the Piraeus container terminal are a hive of activity. Lorries come and go while forklift trucks zoom around and colossal cranes heave giant containers from ship to shore.
February 13, 2015: Scholars Appeal for Greece We the undersigned call on the governments of Europe, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF to respect the decision of the Greek people to choose a new course and to engage the new government of Greece in good faith negotiations to resolve the Greek debt. The government of Greece is correct to insist on new policies because the previous policies have failed. They have not brought economic recovery.
February 13, 2015: If the Greek olive branch is rejected, Europe may fall During his swearing-in speech as Greece's prime minister, Alexis Tsipras was clear: 'Our aim is to achieve a solution that is mutually beneficial for both Greece and our partners. Greece wants to pay its debt.'
February 13, 2015: Debt: which strategies should Europe adopt? Eric Toussaint, spokesperson for the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt with a Ph.D. in Political Science, delivered an introductory note on restructuring, audit, suspension and cancellation of debt in recent decades.
February 13, 2015: Gambling with the Euro After only a few weeks in power, Syriza has already been given a taste of the intransigence of their creditors turned negotiators. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would reject Greek sovereign bonds as collateral, making Greek banks dependent on Emergency Liquidity Assistance. On the one hand, this is blackmail of the nastiest sort.
February 12, 2015: It's the class conflict, stupid! Most of the commentary on the ongoing euro crisis, especially the current Greek debt negotiations, has been couched in terms of a conflict between nations. This is particularly true of mainstream economists, whose nation-state-based models downplay or ignore class, even as the policies they advocate have tremendous class implications.
February 12, 2015: Germany v Greece is a fight to the death Last week, after the European Central Bank staged its coup against the Greek banks, forcing them to rely on emergency assistance, I asked a friend in Athens whether there'd been a rise in anti-German sentiment. 'Hard to say,' he replied. 'It has been running at such a fever pitch recently that it would be difficult for it to get any higher.'
February 12, 2015: Greece is playing to lose the debt crisis poker game The future of Europe now depends on something apparently impossible: Greece and Germany must strike a deal. What makes such a deal seem impossible is not the principled opposition of the two governments - Greece has demanded a debt reduction, while Germany has insisted that not a euro of debt can be written off - but something more fundamental: while Greece is obviously the weaker party in this conflict, it has far more at stake.
February 12, 2015: Nobody Understands Debt Many economists, including Janet Yellen, view global economic troubles since 2008 largely as a story about 'deleveraging' -- a simultaneous attempt by debtors almost everywhere to reduce their liabilities. Why is deleveraging a problem? Because my spending is your income, and your spending is my income, so if everyone slashes spending at the same time, incomes go down around the world.
February 12, 2015: Syriza's Magic Equation Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's inaugural policy speech before parliament was followed particularly attentively within Greece, as much as in the European chancelleries -- and no doubt in the White House too. Within Greece, after the European Central Bank's blackmail and the continual attacks by the European leaders, there is a spreading mood of mobilization, of regained dignity, of a desire both to support the government in the face of the blackmail and to put pressure on it to halt any retreat.
February 12, 2015: Syriza and the poverty of philosophy For those of us who were until recently more sympathetic to Antarsya, the 'other' left-wing coalition on Greece's radical left, it is salutary to reflect on how well Syriza has done in the last month, and how poorly Antarsya has done by comparison.
February 11, 2015: Greece: towards a head-on crash Tsipras's inaugural policy speech before the Greek Parliament was followed particularly attentively within Greece as much as in the European chancelleries - and no doubt in the White House too.
February 11, 2015: Why SYRIZA made the deal with the Independent Greeks (ANEL) The first projections already revealed that the Greek election on January 25, 2015, would lead to a fundamental change of political direction. This turned out to be true even though the goal of achieving an absolute majority was just missed.
February 11, 2015: A Greece debt deal is by all means not impossible Hand in hand, Alexis Tsipras and Jean-Claude Juncker emerged to face the cameras. The photo opportunity at the European commission said it all. Tsipras is not going to get everything he wants. He might only get a fraction of what he wants. But he will get something.
February 11, 2015: Syriza plans for end to austerity, and the rich fight back Cleaners picketing the Ministry of Finance were among some 20,000 sacked public sector workers who prime minister Alex Tsipras pledged to rehire. The cleaners have fought for their jobs for nearly two years. Cleaner Sophia Tsagaropoulou said, 'Finally, we won the battle--Tsipras has shown he has the will to do good things for the Greek people.'
February 11, 2015: Alan Greenspan says Greece will have to leave eurozone It is only 'a matter of time' before Greece is forced out of the eurozone, the former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan forecast. The prediction came as the UK chancellor, George Osborne, said Britain was 'stepping up' contingency planning for dealing with any escalation of the crisis.
February 11, 2015, Bullet No. #1080: Another Europe With Syriza, Donatella della Porta There is no doubt that the near majority obtained by Syriza in the elections last month represent a point-of-no-return for Europe. This is the result most feared by the rulers of several countries and, above all, by the financial powers that have undertaken an intense campaign of threats, based on the idea of an increasingly liberal Europe.
February 10, 2015: Throwing Off Austerity's Hold in Greece, Syriza Pledges Allegiance to 'The Good of Society' In a speech before the Greek Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made it clear that his Syriza government would not accept a continuation of the austerity measures imposed by outside forces as he formally announced Greece would refuse the next installment of a bailout package from foreign creditors. Instead, the newly-elected leader vowed, Greece would chart a new economic path ahead of upcoming negotiations that will put the ordinary people of Greece first ahead of bankers abroad and elite corruption at home.
February 9, 2015: ECB Kicks Syriza in the Face On Wednesday the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would no longer accept Greek government bonds and government-guaranteed debt as collateral. Although Greece would still be eligible for other, emergency lending from the Central Bank, the immediate effect of the announcement was to raise Greek borrowing costs and squeeze its banks, and to increase financial market instability within Greece.
February 9, 2015: Greece: this is democracy against the bankers The European Central Bank's decision to cut off one form of its assistance to Greek banks was a calculated, and political move. In detail, the ECB is now refusing to accept Greek government bonds as collateral for its loans made to Greek banks. Greek government bonds, loans issued by the government, are below 'investment grade' - that is, reckoned by the credit ratings agencies to be at substantial risk of default (going unpaid).
February 9, 2015: Greece: a deal approaching? It's now clear that the Syriza government, just as uber-confident finance minister Yanis Varoufakis predicted, will most likely get a deal on Greece's debt. The turning point happened over the last few days; following reports in the Greek media that Barack Obama had telephoned through his support to Alexis Tsipras, the US President's public statements have made it very clear to Germany's leadership that their austerity mania is losing them friends.
February 8, 2015: On ECB' s decision to cancel the acceptance of Greek bonds On Wednesday night the Board of the European Central Bank announced that it would no longer (starting on February 12, 2015) accept Greek government bonds as collateral for lending money to commercial banks. This decision is attributed to the currently unpredictable status of the deliberations regarding the bailout program. This announcement came just few hours before the scheduled meeting of the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis with Wolfgang Schaeuble and poses a direct challenge to the Greek government.
February 8, 2015: ECB cancels soft treatment of Greek debt in warning to Athens The ECB in a dramatic move last night pulled the plug on Greek banks ability to use Greek sovereign bonds as collateral in borrowing from the ECB. It is not a killer move - because it means Greek banks are now totally reliant on the ECB for funding emergency funding.
February 8, 2015: Syriza and the state It's hard to overstate the historic significance of the election victory of the radical left party Syriza in Greece last month. The left has drawn close to power in Greece before. As the Second World War ended, the Communist Party's role in the resistance to the brutal German occupation put it at the head of a broad national coalition.
February 8, 2015: Syriza's tremendous path to power No European country has been plunged so deep into crisis as Greece, which has experienced a situation analogous to that of the 1930s. If the images coming from Greece today don't correspond to the 1930s picture of social carnage and extreme human suffering, it's thanks to the Greek welfare state - which, so maligned by certain analysts, has in fact carried out its social-protection role relatively well.
February 8, 2015: What kind of solidarity with the Greek people? The Greek government led by Alexis Tsipras is not isolated in Europe when it comes to renegotiating the debt. Though it has met with intransigent reactions from the Troika, the finance markets and the pro-austerity bigwigs, it does enjoy the support of Podemos, the Front de Gauche, Die Linke, the powerful German trade union DGB, and many more.
February 7, 2015: Mark Weisbrot on the Greek Debt Talks Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Mark Weisbrot discusses the ECB and Greek debt talks on BBC World News.
February 7, 2015: A New European Narrative On Thursday, Germany refused any negotiations with Greece, and the European Central Bank (ECB) refused to accept Greek bonds as collateral (since there are no guarantees that the Greek government will carry out the 'adjustment' plan). Although this does not amount to an immediate push to kick Greece out of the eurozone, it is certainly a threat in that direction.
February 7, 2015: Europe and austerity failed Greece When the euro crisis began a half-decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity that was being imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail.
February 6, 2015: ECB Shuts Off Direct Funds to Greece The European Central Bank heaped pressure on Greece's new government by restricting access to its direct liquidity lines, citing concerns about the country's commitment to existing bailout pledges.
February 6, 2015: SYRIZA, From Hope to Event?, Peter Bratsis Barely one week ago, Syriza secured a landslide victory in the Greek elections. Its electoral slogan was 'Hope is Coming'. The promise to end austerity and the obvious futility and failure of the then existing political trajectory in Athens carried Syriza to become the first radical left, anti-capitalist, party to win national elections in Europe.
February 6, 2015: Tsipras versus Cameron: people versus bankers David Cameron became the first elected politician in Europe to criticise the election of the Syriza government in Greece and was quickly followed by George Osborne. This might seem odd as Britain is outside the Eurozone and has limited direct influence over its policies. But the urgent and unrestrained nature of the criticism is very revealing about what is at stake in the anti-austerity struggle and specifically the very different roles being played by the British and Greek governments.
February 6, 2015: Greek and German finance ministers clash at debt relief talks Greece's radical Syriza government remained locked in a bitter standoff with its German paymasters, as finance minister Yanis Varoufakis issued a stark warning of the rise of nazism in his country if the eurozone fails to heed the democratic voice of Greek voters.
February 6, 2015: Austerity, Collapse, and the Rise of the Radical Left in Greece Although signs of financial and fiscal instability became more than evident in the last decade, the global crisis officially struck Greece in 2010 under a government of PASOK, the forty-year-old social democratic party led by George Papandreou. Papandreou's was the first eurozone government to invite the IMF to interfere in Greece's internal European Monetary Union affairs through the formation of the troika.
February 5, 2015: Germany Was Biggest Debt Transgressor of 20th Century Think Greece's current economic malaise is the worst ever experienced in Europe? Think again. Germany, economic historian Albrecht Ritschl argues in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, has been the worst debtor nation of the past century. He warns the country should take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis or it could face renewed demands for World War II reparations.
February 5, 2015: Marxist Economists, Academics and Philosophers Sworn In to the Greek Cabinet The newly minted prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, has appointed a new cabinet. He has also formed a coalition with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing anti-austerity populist party that has a visceral dislike for Germany, as Dimitri Lascaris reported yesterday. They have stated that Greeks are owed reparations from Germany for their occupation of Greece during World War II. Now the question is: how is all this going to play out when SYRIZA has to manage the Greek budget?
February 5, 2015: First we take Athens, then we take Berlin? As in the famous photograph of the Parthenon, the peoples of Europe are indeed rising up - even if the KKE, which hung those posters, has singularly ruled itself out of taking any part in the remarkable confrontation with the Troika its one-time comrades in Syriza are now engaging in.
February 5, 2015: I'm the finance minister of a bankrupt country The Germans need not trust the Greeks, but should listen to them, says Yanis Varoufakis. In an interview with ZEIT and ZEIT ONLINE he promises a big reform programme.
February 5, 2015: Syriza minister vows to veto TTIP Greece's government will do all it can to torpedo the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a Syriza minister. The EU-US free trade deal has faced intense opposition from hard left parties and environmentalists across Europe. The deal would streamline a host of regulations making it easier for EU and US businesses to trade with each other.
February 5, 2015: Greece really might leave the euro The world's worst portmanteau is back: Grexit. That's short for 'Greek exit,' as in Greece leaving the euro. And it's once again a possibility now that the left-wing, anti-austerity party Syriza has won power in the latest elections.
February 5, 2015: Austerity vs. Democracy in Greece It may be odd to use a Roman metaphor to describe a Greek political event, but in this case, it's apt. Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river because he could, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, has decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe's leaders saying he shouldn't.
February 4, 2015: Kissinger Gave the 'Green Light' for Argentina's Dirty War Only a few months ago, Henry Kissinger was dancing with Stephen Colbert in a funny bit on the latter's Comedy Central show. But for years, the former secretary of state has sidestepped judgment for his complicity in horrific human rights abuses abroad, and a new memo has emerged that provides clear evidence that in 1976 Kissinger gave Argentina's neo-fascist military junta the 'green light' for the dirty war it was conducting against civilian and militant leftists that resulted in the disappearance--that is, deaths--of an estimated 30,000 people.
February 4, 2015: To escape from economic hell, Greece needs Tsipras to call Germany's bluff Lovers of Greek myths know the story of Sisyphus, the king of Corinth who as a punishment from the gods was condemned to spend his time in Hades pushing a boulder to the top of a hill. Every time Sisyphus neared the summit, the boulder slipped from his hands and rolled to the bottom of the slope, and he had to start all over again.
February 4, 2015: First Days, First Decisions On January 25, thousands of people took to the streets of Athens to celebrate Syriza's electoral triumph. It was a victory that seemed implausible even four years ago. How, in that short time span, did a radical left coalition become a near-majority parliamentary force with widespread popular support?
February 3, 2015: Syriza has bold solutions to the forces of austerity that are strangling Europe The inaugural week of the new government in Greece has already delivered a considerable jolt to EU politics, and there is much more to come. First, it is necessary to deal with the widely circulated canard that the coalition government between Syriza, the party which I represent in parliament, and the Independent Greeks (Anel) signifies an unholy 'red-brown' alliance.
February 3, 2015: Greece: Why Did SYRIZA and the KKE Fail to Reach an Agreement? SYRIZA has formed a coalition government with the Independent Greeks party, a party that emerged from a New Democracy split and which therefore is a party faithful to the capitalist system and which is penetrated with the logic of the capital and of the 'forces of the market'. SYRIZA's cooperation with such a party is of course a dangerous trap!
February 3, 2015: Bank of England governor attacks eurozone austerity The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has launched a strong attack on austerity in the eurozone as he warned that the single-currency area was caught in a debt trap that could cost it a second lost decade.
February 3, 2015: Syriza versus the Troika: the first week The Syriza government has begun to reverse austerity despite opposition from Europe's elite. James Meadway looks at the backround for the opening battle with the EU/ECB/IMF Troika.
February 3, 2015, Bullet No. #1076: Seizing the Opportunity to Fight Austerity, An Interview with Alexis Tsipras The effects of the crisis on Greek society have been truly devastating. It comes as no surprise that there have been major changes in the political scene. Syriza has always offered a detailed analysis of the crisis and the underlying causes. While the mainstream parties led people on -- rather brazenly, I might add -- we were vehement that austerity would have severe negative consequences and lead to recession; these policies simply weren't sustainable.
February 2, 2015: We must stop Angela Merkel's bullying - or let the forces of austerity win Angela Merkel is the most monstrous western European leader of this generation. Politicians who inflict economic cruelty on a mass scale, trashing the lives of millions as they do so, do not end up in courts to face justice. But Merkel undoubtedly stands tried and convicted in the dock of history already.
February 2, 2015: Go ahead, Angela, make my day It was in Greece that the infernal euro crisis began just over five years ago. So it is classically fitting that Greece should now be where the denouement may be played out--thanks to the big election win on January 25th for the far-left populist Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras. By demanding a big cut in Greece's debt and promising a public-spending spree, Mr Tsipras has thrown down the greatest challenge so far to Europe's single currency--and thus to Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, who has set the austere path for the continent.
February 2, 2015: Prospects for Syriza Leo Panitch spoke with NLP's Tom Mills about the prospects for the new radical left Syriza government and what the left elsewhere can do to strengthen their position in Europe.
February 1, 2015: Greece and Spain helped postwar Germany recover. Spot the difference Sixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany's debt. That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war. It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt.
February 1, 2015: Alexis Tsipras' Open Letter To Germany: What You Were Never Told About Greece Most of you, dear [German] readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence.
February 1, 2015: 'Hope begins today': the inside story of Syriza's rise to power Ten years ago, Syriza scraped just 4% of the vote in Greek elections. This week, the leftwing party took control under the charismatic leadership of Alexis Tsipras. How did it do it? For 22 days, Paul Mason followed the party's campaign trail and saw an anti-austerity message delivered with youthful plausibility win over a nation.
January 31, 2015: Germans in shock as new Greek leader starts with a bang In his first act as prime minister on Monday, Alexis Tsipras visited the war memorial in Kaisariani where 200 Greek resistance fighters were slaughtered by the Nazis in 1944. The move did not go unnoticed in Berlin. Nor did Tsipras's decision hours later to receive the Russian ambassador before meeting any other foreign official.
January 31, 2015: Greece says No to EU statement on Russia The new far-left government in Greece dropped a bombshell on its first day in office by abjuring an EU statement on Russia. It said in a press communique on Tuesday (27 January): 'the aforementioned statement was released without the prescribed procedure to obtain consent by the member states and particularly without ensuring the consent of Greece'.
January 31, 2015: Tsipras: the reverse shock doctrine Now the euphoria in Greece has subsided, it is being matched by astonishment in Berlin and the European Union institutions. On its first day in government yesterday, Syriza cancelled a privatisation progamme of the ports and energy sector, pledged to re-employ around 15,000 workers, and announced minimum wage and pension rises costing around 12bn euros.
January 31, 2015: Book launch: Crucible of Resistance The London book launch of 'Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis' - with co-author Prof. Euclid Tsakalotos. The panel included Hilary Wainwright and John Palmer, as well as Prof. Costs Douzinas from Birkbeck.
January 30, 2015: Notes on Greece It is imperative to get this right. Syriza's election is the first real event on the European radical left for decades. I do not mind being over-excited about this fact. I am well aware of the limits of this success, and of the ways in which left governments can be domesticated. Yet I would sooner get ahead of myself with enthusiasm than submit to the wised-up cynicism according to which every gain is an accident, and every betrayal was pre-ordained. And this breakthrough does demand some careful research and theoretical work.
January 30, 2015: Thank You Greece, Maria Helena dos Santos André In a time when in Paris Marine Le Pen is 'Ante Portas', when xenophobic populists are marching through the streets of Dresden, when in London the UKIP sets the tone for an ever more Anti-European hysteria, and when in Helsinki the Finnish government becomes the most ardent proponent of more austerity for Greece, for no other reason but the fear of a success of the 'real Finns' at the next ballot box, the Greek people have given a clear signal, voting against more austerity and for the European values of democracy, the welfare state, tolerance and inclusive societies.
January 29, 2015: Greece's new young radicals sweep away age of austerity One by one they were rolled back, blitzkrieg-style, mercilessly, ruthlessly, with rat-a-tat efficiency. First the barricades came down outside the Greek parliament. Then it was announced that privatisation schemes would be halted and pensions reinstated. And then came the news of the reintroduction of the €751 monthly minimum wage. And all before Greece's new prime minister, the radical leftwinger Alexis Tsipras, had got his first cabinet meeting under way.
January 28, 2015: Stathis Kouvelakis replies on Syriza-ANEL I'm afraid Richard Seymour has it plainly wrong here. First of all, he clearly overstates the strategic coherence of Syriza by stressing a Gramscian-Poulantzian "reading" of the line followed since four or five years. Of course there are people within Syriza, including myself, who try to intervene along those references -although certainly not in the sense of a supposedly 'cross-class' project of social and political alliances.
January 28, 2015: A Strategy of Ruptures: Ten Theses on the Greek Future, Panagiotis Sotiris January 25th marks a historic turning point in recent Greek history. After five years of devastating austerity, a social crisis without precedent in Europe, and a series of struggles that at some points, especially in 2010-2012, took an almost insurrectionary form, there has been a major political break.
January 28, 2015: The tasks for the left after SYRIZA's victory Alexis Tsipras is now prime minister of Greece, at the head of a government formed after the election victory of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, which comes to power with a clear mandate to reverse the austerity agenda that plunged the country into crisis. But the SYRIZA-led government also includes a right-wing nationalist party, the Independent Greeks, whose reactionary founder and leader will become defense minister.
January 27, 2015: Syriza should ignore calls to be responsible, Paul Krugman Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, has become prime minister of Greece. He is the first European leader elected on an explicit promise to challenge the austerity policies that have prevailed since 2010. And there will be many people warning him to abandon that promise, to behave 'responsibly'. So how has that responsibility thing worked out so far?
January 27, 2015: Syriza's 'national' strategy, Richard Seymour Why did Syriza choose to forge an alliance with the right-wing, racist ANEL? There were alternatives. One was to coalesce with a neoliberal, austerian centrist bloc. Another was to form a minority government, although from the responses by Syriza members and supporters, this doesn't even seem to have come up.
January 27, 2015: The Greek Hope, James K. Galbraith Fifty-four years ago, in his inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy declared, “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” They were not the most soaring sentences in that short speech, but they were among the most important. For they signaled, deliberately and unmistakably to the Soviet Union, that the Cold War might be ended without turning hot, and that the world need not live forever under bluster, threat, and the shadow of nuclear war.
January 27, 2015: Greek government says to halt Piraeus port sale The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will halt the sale of a majority stake in the port of Piraeus (OLPr.AT), Greece's biggest, begun by the previous government, the deputy minister in charge of shipping said on Tuesday.
January 27, 2015: Greek election results: increased uncertainty, excellent situation, Akis Gavriilidis After his comment before elections, we now publish another note by Akis Graviilidis concerning the situation in Greece after the oath of the first SYRIZA government. Almost laughing at the anxieties of those who see their principles and expectations at risk, Akis discusses the political question of the possibilities that the victory of SYRIZA actually opened. We believe that this political remark is really important. To start from the movements that this victory is able to trigger, in fact, helps avoid arguments which presume that nothing can really change, as if political subjects were always the same.
January 27, 2015: The Tyranny of Greece Over Germany, Paul Krugman No, I haven’t lost my mind. That’s the title of a classic book by Eliza Marian Butler arguing that German culture was warped by an obsession with ancient Greece, which has nothing at all to do with the current problems of macroeconomic policy. But the title came to mind when I read Simon Wren-Lewis’s meditation on two different hypotheses about the disastrous 2010 turn to austerity. One hypothesis, as he says, is that it was just bad luck: Greece blew up at the end of 2009, and false analogies with Greece soon dominated policy debate; you can call this Hellenization of discourse the tyranny of Greece, not so much over Germany, as over the OECD as a whole.
January 26, 2015: Ending Greece's Nightmare, Paul Krugman Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, is about to become prime minister of Greece. He will be the first European leader elected on an explicit promise to challenge the austerity policies that have prevailed since 2010. And there will, of course, be many people warning him to abandon that promise, to behave “responsibly.” So how has that responsibility thing worked out so far?
January 26, 2015: The Greek Stand-By Arrangement, Paul Krugman For tomorrow’s column I went back to the original, May 2010 stand-by arrangement for Greece, to see what the troika was demanding and predicting at the beginning of the austerity push, and how it compares with what actually happened.
January 26, 2015: SYRIZA solidarity initiatives all over Europe Find here an overview of European-wide solidarity initiatives in support of SYRIZA and the Greek people, prior to the Greek parliamentary elections on 25 January.
January 26, 2015: On the deal between Syriza and ANEL Greece has a new Government. After the euphoria of Syriza’s stunning victory yesterday, came the disappointing realisation that they had to form a coalition to govern, and that that coalition would be with the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL). Kevin Ovenden, who has covered the election in depth, offers some immediate thoughts.
January 26, 2015: Joseph Stiglitz shows that a suspension of debt repayments can be beneficial for a country, Éric Toussaint Since the European Union started facing an abyssal debt crisis and several countries have been caught in the stranglehold of their creditors, the prospect of defaulting has become a real possibility. A majority of left-wing and orthodox economists consider that a suspension of debt payment must be avoided. The loans granted by the Troika to Greece (May 2010), Ireland (November 2010), Portugal (May 2011), and Cyprus (March 2013) were allegedly intended to prevent those countries from defaulting, which it was claimed would have had disastrous consequences for the populations in the concerned countries.
January 26, 2015: A historic victory and many questions, Andreas Sartzekis The Syriza electoral victory is a historic event for Greece of course, but still more for Europe, and it is almost amusing to see socialist leaders being pleased with this success, alongside a total collapse of PASOK, which in 2009 had won more than 3 million votes with a score of 44% and 160 seats: yesterday evening, it won just 290,000, 4.7% of the votes. The extreme examples of its collapse being in its historical bases like Crete with votes swinging mainly to Syriza.
January 26, 2015: Syriza's victory: turning hope into reality, Michael Burke and John Ross The Greek people have inspired every progressive force in Europe, and beyond, by electing the first anti-austerity government in Europe. Syriza has similarly inspired every progressive person with the great political skill with which it outmanoeuvred the forces in Greece and Europe who attempted to scare the Greek people into not voting for it. As Alexis Tsipras said immediately after its victory Syriza has opened up hope for the Greek people – and many others as well. The key question now is how to turn hope into reality.
January 26, 2015: Tsipras forms government, plans new legislation Alexis Tsipras was trying to form his first cabinet on Monday night after being sworn in as prime minister following his agreement with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos to form a coalition government. A number of Tsipras’s close allies are expected to take key roles in the new cabinet. One of his closest advisers, Nikos Pappas, is expected to become minister of state, with responsibility for coordinating the government’s efforts. SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis is expected to take over the Interior Ministry.
January 26, 2015: Alexis Tsipras pays homage to Greek communists at site of Nazi atrocity Few places in Greece conjure the spirit of resistance as much as the war memorial in Kaisariani. It stands on the spot where 200 political activists – mostly communists – were executed by Nazi forces on May Day 1944. The monument in a rifle range in one of Athens’ “red” suburbs, is redolent of defiance but, perhaps more than that, the battle against tyranny. That Greece’s new prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Europe’s first radical left leader, should elect to visit the memorial minutes after being sworn in, is rich with symbolism – and defiance too. Red roses in hand, resistance veterans looking on, the young firebrand paid homage to the victims in his first act in office. “It represents national resistance to German occupation,” says Panos Skourletis, spokesman of Syriza, an alliance of far-left groups ranging from Maoists to greens. “But also the desire of Greeks for freedom, for liberty from German occupation.”
January 26, 2015: Syriza, une "opportunité colossale" pour la gauche française Syriza vient de remporter les législatives grecques. En France, c'est le Front national qui a le vent en poupe. Parmi les militants de la gauche radicale, chacun a ses hypothèses pour expliquer ce décalage : une crise moins forte qu’en Europe du Sud, une combativité douchée par l’échec de la mobilisation de 2010 sur les retraites, un mouvement des "indignés" mort-né, la personnalité de Jean-Luc Mélenchon, les dissensions internes sur les alliances avec le PS, ou encore la très grande habileté du FN… Olivier Besancenot, ancien porte-parole du Nouveau parti anticapitaliste, livre ses explications à "l'Obs".
January 26, 2015: Six key points about Greece's debt Greece's election has delivered a clear rejection of Troika-imposed austerity and the EU's approach to the crisis. Here are six key points about Greece's debt.
January 26, 2015: Historic Victory for SYRIZA Greece Sharmini Peries interviews Leo Panitch about the Greek elections: Syriza is the first left party to come to power since the 2007-2008 crisis of neoliberalism.
January 26, 2015: Nobel winner: Germany's the problem, not Greece Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told CNBC on Monday that the euro zone should stay together but if it breaks apart, it would be better for Germany to leave than for Greece. "While it was an experiment to bring them together, nothing has divided Europe as much as the euro," Stiglitz said in a "Squawk Box" interview.
January 26, 2015: Greece's future in the Eurozone, Costas Lapavitsas The Greek parliament has failed to elect a new president and the country’s constitution dictates that there should now be parliamentary elections. These will be critical for Greece and also important for Europe. A victory for Syriza, the main leftwing party, would offer hope that Europe might, at last, begin to move away from austerity policies. But there are also grave risks for Greece and the European left.
January 26, 2015: A stunning victory for the left in Greece, Mick Armstrong In probably the most important parliamentary elections in Europe since World War II, Greek workers have defied an incredible media scare campaign and voted solidly for the left wing anti-austerity party SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left). SYRIZA won 36 percent of the vote and decisively defeated the hard right New Democracy, which had presided over brutal austerity policies. The final results are yet to be confirmed but on current projections SYRIZA is set to win 149 seats – just short of an absolute majority in the 300 seat parliament.
January 26, 2015: What Syriza’s Greek election victory means for Europe, Paul Mason The far left Syriza party won 149 seats out of 300 in the Greek parliament, and must form a coalition to take power. This is close to a done deal, with the Independent Greeks’ 13 MPs poised to approve a government headed by Alexis Tsipras within the hour. A coalition of the far left and a conservative nationalist splinter group may seem far fetched – but this is Greece: an already chaotic democracy on Europe’s rough edge with Asia, plunged into misery by IMF/EU dictated austerity.
January 26, 2015: Spain's Podemos inspired by Syriza’s victory in Greek elections “Syriza, Podemos – venceremos,” chanted Podemos’s Pablo Iglesias into the microphone on Sunday, his voice rising as he hit the last word: we will win. In the packed bleachers of this rally of the party faithful in Valencia, a Greek flag waved as thousands joined in his chant.
January 26, 2015: After Syriza's victory, Stathis Kouvelakis Syriza’s electoral triumph has brought hope to the European radical Left and workers’ movement, offering it an immense opportunity. We can also put that the other way around – to fail this test could have incalculable consequences.
January 26, 2015: Greece: Phase One, Sebastian Budgen and Stathis Kouvelakis With Syriza approaching the gates of power in Greece, the Internet has been full of analyses, opinion pieces, and endorsements and denunciations. In this interview with Stathis Kouvelakis conducted earlier this month, we take a critical distance to understand the origins, trajectory, and possible challenges of this political formation.
January 25, 2015: What the SYRIZA Government Will Do transform! publishes the government programme of SYRIZA announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair on 15 September 2014 by Alexis Tsipras.
January 25, 2015: Syriza and the Greek Elections: The Tough Questions That Must Be Asked The specter of hope and change is once again in the air. After years of economic crisis and stifling economic austerity, all eyes are upon Greece once more, where the main opposition party Syriza is favored to emerge victorious in the snap parliamentary elections called for January 25.
January 25, 2015: Reflections on Syriza, Louis Proyect Over the past several days I have read over twenty articles about Syriza to help me prepare this one. As is often the case when I write something, it is as much to help clarify my own thinking as it is to inform my readers. My main point in writing this is to emphasize the need to understand Syriza in its own terms rather than to see it through categories drawn from the past, particularly those that are part of the Trotskyist lexicon.
January 25, 2015: Greece: Hope Reborn Greek elections 2015 special. Tariq Ali interviews leading Syriza intellectual Stathis Kouvelakis about the rise of left wing party Syriza in Greece, on the dawn of the 2015 elections.
January 25, 2015: We are going to destroy the Greek oligarchy system Yanis Varoufakis, tipped to be Syriza's new finance minister, tells Paul Mason what his party would do if it gets into government in Greece, and admits the prospect of power in Europe is 'scary'.
January 25, 2015: The future has begun, Andrew Burgin and Kate Hudson A great change has taken place in European politics. The left is back. SYRIZA has won a great victory in the Greek general election. We celebrate their victory and applaud the leadership that has brought the party to power.
January 25, 2015: The SYRIZA Challenge in Greece Leo Panitch: Even mainstream economists like Krugman, Piketty and Munchau are saying that SYRIZA is advancing the only rational plan for Greece.
January 25, 2015: Greek elections: web round up #2 All signs point to a Syriza victory today, with the very real possibility of an overall majority, depending on the vote for smaller parties. Since our last round up, even more has been written about Greece, and what it means. Dan Swain continues the coverage.
January 25, 2015: Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites, Paul Mason At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.
January 25, 2015: First we take Athens, then we take... Gaza? There is a significant development taking place for the Palestinian cause in Europe, as a win for the Greek radical-left party SYRIZA in the coming elections might not only make the European elite and international markets tremble and galvanize social movements against austerity across the continent, it may also turn out to become a huge blow for European support for the Zionist state of Israel.
January 25, 2015: Greece: The End of Austerity? Theopi Skarlatos folllows Syriza during its historic bid for power in Greece: the leaders, the activists, the dissenters - and the conservative politicians for whom a left victory is catastrophe
January 24, 2015: A Historic Opportunity, Alexis Tsipras On Sunday, Greece will hold a pivotal election. Opinion polls still have Syriza ahead of New Democracy by 3 per cent and the old party of the center-left, PASOK, behind even the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Syriza's platform has no doubt moderated over the past months, and much debate can be had about how much the party can accomplish in power so long as Greece remains tied to the eurozone. How a government of the Left would relate to the movements that paved the way for its election also remains to be seen.
January 24, 2015: Greek elections: report from Greece Solidarity meeting The election briefing event organised by the Greece Solidarity Campaign covered two main themes: Firstly, an urgent appeal, hammered home by various speakers, for a massive campaign of international solidarity in support of a SYRIZA government. Second, a quite complex discussion about the challenges any SYRIZA government would face, and how it would respond to them.
January 23, 2015: Hope is on its way -- Greece is changing, Vivian Messimeris Tens of thousands gathered in Omonia Square to hear Alexis Tsipras, leader of radical left party SYRIZA, speak at the last campaign rally before Greece's January 25 crucial election -- which polls indicate SYRIZA will win. The crowd packed into the square and stretched as far as the eye could see. The atmosphere was electric. People were aware of the political significance and historic weight of this moment.
January 23, 2015, Bullet No. #1071: The Greek Election, Leo Panitch As we enter the eighth year of the long-lingering global economic crisis, it is sobering indeed that it is only in Greece that a political party putting forward a clear, radical democratic alternative to the perverse policies of neoliberal austerity stands on the doorstep of entering the state.
January 23, 2015: Hope Is on the Way, Catarina Príncipe The streets of Athens are covered in Syriza posters that read, “Hope is on the way.” And for many it really feels that way. Not only hope, but their last hope. “If Alexis [Tsipras] fails, there is only fascism left,” one person told me after I arrived in the country, referring to the party’s leader.
January 23, 2015: On Verge of Victory, Europe's Ascendant Left Declares 'Subservience is Over', Jon Queally "History is knocking at our door," declared Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the leftwing coalition party of Syriza in Greece, during a speech addressed to thousands of supporters in Athens on Thursday night as he stood next to his foreign compatriot Pablo Iglesias of the Spanish Podemos Party.
January 23, 2015: Greek elections: web round up The Greek election this weekend could mark a seismic moment in European politics. Dan Swain rounds up commentary from across the web to help you keep informed while eagerly awaiting the results.
January 23, 2015: A brief note from afar on the Greek election campaign, Stathis Kouvelakis With Sunday's election approaching, the political theorist and leader of Syriza's Left Platform Stathis Kouvelakis comments on the movement and what's at stake, not only for the people of Greece but also for the rest of Europe.
January 23, 2015: Syriza faces a choice between capitulation and open sedition, Frédéric Lordon This Sunday, 25 January, Greeks will vote in parliamentary elections of potentially historic importance, with Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza coalition currently ahead in the opinion polls. But according to Frédéric Lordon, Germany’s grip on the situation and the Greek radical Left party’s own inconsistencies might condemn it to some painful acrobatics.
January 23, 2015: Syriza, the economists and the impossible triangle, Michael Roberts All the polls show that the leftist Syriza alliance is set to win the general election in Greece next Sunday. It may not get an outright majority and may have to form a coalition with one of the small centre parties. But it looks most likely that the incumbent coalition of Samaras' conservative New Democracy and the degenerated social-democrat PASOK will lose power.
January 22, 2015, Bullet No. #1070: Why the Whole World is Watching Greece, Lee Sustar Syriza is favoured to win parliamentary elections on January 25, giving it a strong chance to form a new government that could confront the catastrophic austerity agenda that has plunged Greece into severe economic and social crisis. Lee Sustar answers questions about the rise of Syriza and what a victory for it on January 25 would mean.
January 21, 2015: The SYRIZA Challenge in Greece Sharmini Peries in conversation with Leo Panitch about what a SYRIZA-led government in Greece would mean for the people of Greece in the kind of platform they need to put in place to get Greece out of the financial crisis they're in, and the feasibility of it all.
January 21, 2015: Greek Election: the challenge for the radical Left Greece is on the brink of a very important political change. It is most likely that after the January 25 election there is going to be a new government, a SYRIZA government, which means that we will no longer have a pro-Troika, pro-Austerity government.
January 20, 2015: The signs are already on the walls of Europe Tariq Ali discusses the upcoming Greek elections, the potential for Left governments in Europe, and the impending demise of the EU. Interview by Kostas Vlahopoulos and Thomas Giourgas for www.nostimonimar.gr
January 18, 2015: Message to Greece I'm Pablo Iglesias from Podemos and my message to the Greek people is quite clear. I think there are two options in the new elections in Greece, two candidates. The candidate whose name is Angela Merkel and is represented by parties like PASOK and New Democracy and the Greek candidate, his name is Alexis Tsipras.
January 15, 2015: A Greek Election Primer Greece has been the European country hardest hit by the global crisis unleashed following the 2008 financial crash. It is also the eurozone state upon which the most devastating austerity measures have been imposed by the troika of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
January 14, 2015: Greek Elections and the dangers of Pyrrhic Victories The upcoming Greek elections on January 25th could shift Europe in a positive direction writes Susan Pashkoff. Following the failure to elect a President in Greece, Samaras was forced into snap elections (http://www.theguardian.com/…).According to all polls (and these, alas, are notoriously unreliable in Greece as they are often commissioned by the political parties themselves) it looks as though SYRIZA will come in first.
January 14, 2015, Bullet No. #1067: Breakthrough in Greece? Austerity and Solidarity, IUF Greece will hold parliamentary elections on January 25 and Syriza, the left-wing party which has consistently called for debt restructuring and an end to austerity, is leading the polls. The Troika are warning of the 'threat' of Syriza coming to power and have forcefully indicated their support for Greece's ruling coalition by conditioning further financial support on the re-election of a pliable government.
January 9, 2015: If Syriza wins the Greek election, what will happen next? With Greece facing a snap general election on 25 January 2015, there is the genuine prospect of a radical left government coming to power in an EU country. Syriza, a party born from a coalition of Eurocommunists, social movements and anti-globalisation activists, is riding high.
January 5, 2015: The Greek Election 2015 – Revolt Of The Debtors, Paul De Grauwe The Greek debt crisis that erupted in 2010 is back and again threatens the stability of the Eurozone. That crisis was the result of two factors. First, an unbridled spending drift of both the private and the public sectors in Greece during the boom years of 2000-2010, which led to unsustainable levels of debt. Second, reckless lending to Greece by Northern Eurozone banks. At no time the Northern bankers asked themselves the question of whether the Greeks would repay the loans.
January 1, 2015: What a SYRIZA government will do This is the governmental program of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) announced by Alexis Tsipras at the Thessaloniki International Fair, September 15, 2014. According to the latest opinion poll, SYRIZA is at 36.5%, with a seven percentage point lead over the conservative New Democracy. The current contest for the presidency of Greece looks likely to lead to a new parliamentary election.
December 16, 2014: Why we must support a SYRIZA government in Greece, Andrew Burgin Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras has called a presidential election, which will take place this month. It's the parliament that elects the president but if the electoral sums don't add up -- which so far they don't -- and no president is elected, then the government must call a general election. In the event of a general election, it is likely that SYRIZA will be the largest party and will form the government.
December 12, 2014: The Greek endgame begins The Greek crisis, grinding away at the periphery of Europe, has thrust itself back into the limelight. After EU finance ministers agreed to extend its current bailout for two months, on Monday, the Greek government called a snap presidential election.
December 2, 2014: The Cause of SYRIZA Is Our Cause The possible win of SYRIZA in the next Greek elections is a matter which should be at the centre of interest of social movements, trade unions and political forces in all European countries, since it can be the first step for a fundamental social and political change in our continent.
November 30, 2014: Athens 1944: Britain's dirty secret When 28 civilians were killed in Athens, it wasn't the Nazis who were to blame, it was the British. Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith reveal how Churchill's shameful decision to turn on the partisans who had fought on our side in the war sowed the seeds for the rise of the far right in Greece today.
November 7, 2014: Germany's Unpaid Debt to Greece, Michael Nevradakis In this interview, Albrecht Ritschl, professor of economic history at the London School of Economics, discusses Germany's unpaid war debts and reparations to Greece from World War II, and characterizes Germany as the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.
November 2, 2014: SYRIZA and Podemos: doing politics differently The English left doesn't have a lot to cling on to at the moment. But if there is something that does lift the spirits, it's the high polling of the Greek radical party SYRIZA who may well form a government within the next six months and the meteoric rise of the populist Podemos in Spain.
October 31, 2014: Greek Politics in the Age of the Euro Crisis and the Urgent Task for Left Unity In a politically, economically and socially underdeveloped Balkan country in which corruption, cronyism and clientelism largely constitute the driving forces of 'development,' 'social mobility' and 'social progress,' Greece's only hope of revival from its moral and social morass is a unified left.
September 15, 2014: This is SYRIZA's New Government Plan in Detail Here's the translation of the official SYRIZA government programme as it was announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair on September 15, 2014. The programme refers to the renegotiations on Greek debt and promises reverse the austerity measures Samaras government' had undertaken.
September 9, 2014: Europe’s Austerity Disaster, Joseph Stiglitz “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other pro-austerity European leaders appear to believe. Though facts keep staring them in the face, they continue to deny reality. Austerity has failed. But its defenders are willing to claim victory on the basis of the weakest possible evidence: the economy is no longer collapsing, so austerity must be working! But if that is the benchmark, we could say that jumping off a cliff is the best way to get down from a mountain; after all, the descent has been stopped.
August 26, 2014: Six Hundred Cleaning Ladies Re-Invigorating Greek Movement Six hundred female janitors have become leaders in the movement against austerity in Greece. These gutsy women have been standing up to the Greek government and the powerful 'Troika' of the Central European Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund for 11 months so far.
July 9, 2014: Greece: a victory to build Across Europe, the radical Left has contrasting lessons to draw from the recent elections. Only in Greece did the bearer of a real alternative, Syriza, emerge as the biggest party.
June 19, 2014: Spending Spree: Anger with Greek Shipowners on the Rise There was a time when Greece's shipowners adorned the covers of gossip magazines and ran football clubs, secure in the affection of millions of fans. But these days, men like Theodoros Veniamis, one of the richest shippers in the country, need personal protection. Many don't leave home without it.
May 19, 2014: Resisting austerity in Greece: The Thessaloniki water referendum, Jan Willem Goudriaan The Thessaloniki Water Company is highly profitable and it pays dividends to its shareholders, the state and municipalities. The privatization of the company through the selling of a concession would lead to loss of income for the state.
April 27, 2014: Syriza and European Elections, Panitch, Leo The Possibility and Challenges of the Left in Government in Greece and the May 25 European Elections. Presentation by Leo Panitch. Recorded in Toronto, 21 April 2014.
April 7, 2014, Bullet No. #965: The Left and the European Union, Panagiotis Sotiris What has been happening in Greece, since the beginning of the austerity packages in 2010 can only be described in terms of a giant experiment in neoliberal social engineering. In terms of magnitude and scope it well surpasses the effects of the notorious IMF 'structural adjustment programs.'
January 26, 2014: Syriza Succeeds in Greece Leo Panitch is interviewed by Jaisal Noor (of The Real News Network) about how reforms can be easily thwarted by the power of business and the ideology of neoliberalism, and how SYRIZA in Greece has taken this notion of reform and challenged how it's defined.
January 25, 2014: Europe's left has seen how capitalism can bite back, Leo Panitch For most of the 20th century, the word "reform" was commonly associated with securing state protections against the chaotic effects of capitalist market competition. Today, it is most commonly used to refer to the undoing of those protections.
January 25, 2014: Greece: Social struggles, political crisis and the challenges for Left strategy, Panagiotis Sotiris For more than three years Greece has been the test-site for a huge experiment in neoliberal social engineering. The Greek debt crisis, itself the combined result of the crisis of the Greek 'developmental paradigm', the global capitalist crisis and the crisis of the Eurozone, led to the imposition of a condition of limited sovereignty by the so-called 'Troika' and the implementation of extremely violent austerity programmes.
January 22, 2014: Greece in a Time of Madness and a Time of Badness, Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Madness and badness are never far away in the world today. Greece provides many examples. The behaviour of the government forces many of us to wonder what drugs ministers are taking as they tell us that the future is looking brighter; that 2014 starts the beginning of the end to austerity; that the sacrifices of the people will be rewarded and so on.
January 10, 2014, Bullet No. #926: Crucible of Resistance, Andreas Bieler Many commentators make Greece and other peripheral EU members responsible for the sovereign debt crisis. People in these countries would have lived above their means and it was only right that they should tighten their belts now, the argument goes.
October 2, 2013: Greece: the Crackdown on Golden Dawn and the need for the Left to regain the initiative, Panagiotis Sotiris For many people in Greece -- including the writer of this comment -- watching the Golden Dawn leadership in handcuffs, with only a handful of supporters protesting their arrests, was a happy moment. A neo-nazi organization, with a long history of attacks, beatings and cold-blooded murders, is finally accused of being exactly what it is: a criminal organization.
September 22, 2013: Slain Greek anti-fascist rapper: 'I won't cry, I won't fear' When he was assaulted by a gang of black-shirted Golden Dawn thugs on the night of September 18 in the Keratsini district of Athens, 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas -- a big and powerful man -- was with his girlfriend and another couple. Rather than run away from the squad of neo-Nazis, Pavlos tried to allow his companions to escape and confronted his assailants.
September 7, 2013: Greece: Drop the charges against anti-fascists Anti-fascist and anti-racist activists in Greece have been charged under Greece's "anti-terror" laws - for speaking out against the recent police killings of two Albanian escaped prisoners. Tell the Greek government to drop the charges now, and to stop the persecution of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists.
September 4, 2013, Bullet No. #870: The Greek Neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn - No Pasaran?, Dimitris Psarras Ever since the founding of Golden Dawn at the beginning of the 1980s, the same group of people have continued to make up its leadership, with Nikolaos Michaloliakos as undisputed leader. At the time of the dictatorship of the colonels, Michaloliakos was a member of the neo-Nazi organization called Party of the Fourth of August, the party of Nationalist Socialist Constantin Plevris. After the fall of the dictatorship, there were numerous attempts by people nostalgic for the junta in collaboration with the Italian neo-fascists of Ordine Nuovo.
August 27, 2013: Samos is Bleeding, Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Sadly, Samos has not experienced the tourist boom which has been widely reported in the mainstream media in Greece. Whilst we should be sceptical about some of the claims about a resurgent tourist industry as the rulers here are desperate to find any light in the darkness of austerity, there is no doubt that Samos has not benefited. There are a number of reasons for this including the sheer expense of getting to the island.
August 19, 2013, Bullet No. #866: Taking Power In and Beyond the State, John Milios and Haris Triandafilidou The near election victory of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in June 2012 has made the debate over the conditions for a left to take power of burning contemporary significance. With nearly 27 per cent of the popular vote, the formation of a government clearly to the left of social democracy has moved from being a far-off wish for the future to a real, tangible possibility of the present in Greece.
August 7, 2013, Bullet No. #860: SYRIZA: The Great Social and Political Movement of Subversion The Conference of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is a continuity and a breakthrough in its course, which started in 2000, continued with its official founding in 2004, and was sealed when it took on the historic responsibility to deliver the Greek people from the catastrophic neoliberal memoranda policies that have turned our country into a debt colony and led its creative, social, and productive forces to marginalization.
July 31, 2013: The battle for SYRIZA goes on, Panos Petrou Greece has experienced new struggles against austerity in recent months, particularly surrounding the New Democracy-led coalition government's attempt to close down the state TV and radio broadcaster ERT. This revival of resistance was the setting for the debates about the future of SYRIZA that led up to the first Congress.
July 24, 2013: Greece: Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras' call for a united left party, Alexis Tsipras Comrades, Do you know what the message from the outside is? The message from an agonising and fighting society, with all the things that are going on in it? The message is: get done or we're done for. We're watching you, we're waiting for you, but we're running out of time. We're sinking; we're drowning. The message is: it's now or never. The message is not just political: SYRIZA or memoranda.
July 12, 2013: "Days of Junta" in the University of Athens, Panagiotis Sotiris For anyone watching what was happening at the central building of the University of Athens on 8 July 2013, the feeling was one of reliving images from the 1967-1974 military dictatorship, especially if we take into consideration that collective memory in Greece is still haunted by the image of a military tank crashing the gate of the National Polytechnic University during the November 1973 student uprising.
June 25, 2013, Bullet No. #840: Political Lessons From Greece: Summits, Refugees and Protest, Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Between June 7th and June 9th we had three contrasting experiences in Athens. One was attending the European Alter Summit over two days; another was marching with Gay Pride on the evening of June 8th and the third was meeting with a group of Somalian refugees in their apartment of three rooms where 11 of them lived.
June 17, 2013: Greek Government shut down Public Broadcaster ERT, Felipe van Keirsbilck Many of you have probably seen the news regarding the closure of the Greek public broadcaster ERT that spread across news agencies during the last couple of hours. On Tuesday, 11 June, the Greek Finance Minister used emergency powers to close all public service radio and TV stations. All workers at ERT are to be fired with immediate effect.
June 16, 2013: The Crisis and Socialist Strategy, Spourdalakis, Michalis Lessons from the Greek Left with Michalis Spourdalakis. Spourdalakis is a founding member of Syriza and currently serves on its policy planning committee. Professor of Political Science at Athens University and current chair of the Hellenic Political Science Association, he is also on the Secretariat of Nicos Poulantzas Institute, and a corresponding editor of the Socialist Register.
June 14, 2013: Greece: the struggle over Public Television and Radio (ERT), Panagiotis Sotiris The protests and demonstrations over the announced closing of the whole Greek Public Television and Radio Network (ERT) by the Greek government, are not only about the proposed firing of 2650 workers, nor are they simply a protest about the severe blow to quality broadcasting and entertainment. The government proposal for completely dismantling ERT and replacing it with a new much more smaller company, itself one of the measures dictated by the Troika for the reduction of the public sector.
June 4, 2013, Bullet No. #833: Greek Lessons From Below, Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Axmed, a Somalian refugee, has been stuck in Athens for over six years. This is common for most of his friends, as without papers they are stuck. Getting out by themselves requires money for false papers and travel that is beyond them. Axmed told us that he had a brother in Italy waiting for him. Most of his friends had families and friends waiting for them. But not in Greece. They were stuck.
May 29, 2013: Call for International Solidarity from Greek Teachers Union, OLME Public education and teachers' working conditions in Greece are suffering a strong blow once again by the government and the Troika. In a particularly sensitive period (with student examinations starting this week) the government passed the following new measures during Easter Holidays when schools were closed.
May 28, 2013, Bullet No. #829: The Greek Crisis and the Left Response, Panagiotis Sotiris For the past three years Greece has been at the same time an experiment in neoliberal social engineering and a laboratory of movements and collective struggles. For the first time in many decades we have the case of a country entering a phase of profound social and political crisis that has the potential to turn into a crisis of hegemony opening up the social and political space for a sequence of social transformation.
May 14, 2013: Greek government denies secondary education teachers the right to strike, Panagiotis Sotiris In the past three years Greek society has not only gone through a series of extremely aggressive austerity measures, under the terms dictated by the EU-IMF-ECB Troika that have led to a severe deterioration of living conditions. It has also been facing a constant erosion of democratic rights and basic civil liberties. Part of it is the attempt by the Greek government to practically abolish the right to strike in many sectors.
April 19, 2013: Greece: A new "Marshall Plan" or a new and difficult road to socialism?, Panagiotis Sotiris In a recent speech in London Alexis Tsipras insisted on the need to put an end to the politics of austerity in the Eurozone. More specifically he suggested that it is necessary to have a new "Marshall Plan" in Europe and he proposed a big debt relief such as the one agreed upon for Germany in the 1953 London Conference.
April 10, 2013: The dark dawn of Greek neo-fascism, Panagiotis Sotiris For the past three years Greece has faced a social disaster. The draconian austerity packages imposed under the bailout agreements with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have led to unemployment levels comparable only to the Great Depression, to a recession equivalent to a prolonged war, and to all kinds of social problems, including a rise in suicides and infant mortality.
March 19, 2013, Bullet No. #786: Greece, Syriza and the Struggle Against Austerity, Ingo Schmidt The economic and political crises in Greece were headline news for a couple of years. An explosion of sovereign debt, caused by an uncompetitive private economy and a bloated public sector, was presented as cause of the recession; spending cuts, privatizations, and labour market deregulation as its fix. More recently, Eurocrats and international financiers are saying that these measures put Greece on the way to sustainable deficit levels and rising competitiveness.
February 15, 2013: Greek Factory Under Workers Control The workers of Vio.Me., a building materials factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was abandoned by its bankrupt owners, have been unpaid since May of 2011. This week, after a series of general assemblies the workers convened, they've started occupying the factory and operating it under direct democratic workers' control. The culmination of a year-long struggle that has attracted attention and solidarity in Greece and worldwide, the occupiers are trying to kick-start production and prove themselves a viable new model.
February 3, 2013: Greek transport workers, doctors strike over austerity Greek train and ferry services stopped and hospital staffing was cut to a minimum on Thursday as transport workers and doctors protested against spending cuts imposed to meet the country's bailout terms. As the economy enters a sixth successive year of recession, demonstrations and strikes have surged again over the latest round of measures.
January 31, 2013: Debating the future in Greece On November 30-December 2, Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, known as SYRIZA, held a national conference as the first step in transforming the coalition into a more unified political formation. SYRIZA was formed in 2004 as an electoral alliance uniting radical left-wing organizations -- there are now more than a dozen member groups. But since its inspiring success in nearly winning national elections last spring, SYRIZA's ranks have been swelled by many unaffiliated individuals.
January 26, 2013: Defiant Greek strikers face jail Greece's government has announced emergency powers to force striking subway workers back to work, with those defying it risking arrest. The stand-off is the latest stage of a bitter eight-day dispute over austerity measures.
January 24, 2013: To the crucible: an Irish engagement with the Greek crisis and the Greek left A monumental drama is playing out before our eyes. It is a true Greek tragedy. The plot: A society is being pushed to its limits. The denouement is not yet determined, but survival is at stake and prospects are precarious. Greece is at the sharp end of a radical and risky experiment in how far accumulation by dispossession can go, how much expropriation can be endured, how far the state can be subordinated to the market. It is a global narrative, but the story is a few episodes ahead here.
December 27, 2012: Greece in the eye of the storm, Paul Kellogg An economic crisis of enormous proportions has erupted in a first world country in the global North. The scale of the economic crisis in Greece has few modern equivalents, and is at the root of a massive social and political upheaval. Navigating that crisis poses difficult challenges for the social movements in Greece, and has important lessons for activists around the world. The article that follows is an attempt to provide information that can assist those, unfamiliar with the situation in Greece, in navigating this situation.
November 17, 2012, Bullet No. #731: The Greek Left and the Rise of the Neo-Fascist Golden Dawn, Panagiotis Sotiris For the past months there has been an intense debate both in Greece but also in international media regarding the rise of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn in Greece. The reason is obvious: for the first time in a European Union country a political party that in contrast to most of the varieties of the European far Right does little to hide its openly neo-nazi ideology and the culture of the nazi street gang that has been its trademark since the 1990s, has been one of the rising political forces.
November 10, 2012: The Greek people are currently at the epicenter of the capitalism crisis, Eric Toussaint We are now experiencing one of the worst crises of the worldwide capitalist system. But capitalism will not die a peaceful, natural death. Crises are part of the metabolism of capitalism. Only conscious action by the people can destroy and supersede capitalism in order to open the way to democratic socialism.
October 24, 2012, Bullet No. #715: Turning Despair Into Hate, Shaun Harkin Greece is in a grueling downward economic spiral with massive political and social ramifications. Aspects of Greek society are literally falling apart at the seams. Across the whole eurozone -- the countries that use the euro as a common currency -- unemployment is at a record high of 18.2 million people without work in August.
October 7, 2012: Austerity and struggle in a Greek University, Panagiotis Sotiris The faculty and adjunct faculty members of the University of the Aegean have entered the second week of their strike, following a massive vote in support of the continuation of the strike in the general assembly of the Union of professors and lecturers. This is an expression of their anger and despair against neoliberal austerity policies that are not only undermining the ability of the University of the Aegean to function but also attacking public higher education as a social right.
September 15, 2012: We Stand with the Greek People Fighting Austerity What is happening today in Greece is only the most extreme example of a global phenomenon: the world's political and economic elites, who are responsible for the current economic crisis, want to make the rest of us pay for that crisis, no matter how much suffering this creates. But Greece also exemplifies the determined resistance of millions of ordinary people who refuse to pay for a crisis they did not cause. Their fight is a model for all of us.
August 26, 2012: The Greek Grassroots Challenge to the Politics of Austerity, Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy The crisis in Greece began with the discovery that the Greek government had been concealing the size of its debt in order to stay within the monetary union guidelines: it was revealed to be 120 per cent of GDP, one of the highest percentages in the world. This massive debt was the result of several factors: reckless borrowing, for example to finance the Olympics and to buy weaponry from Germany and the U.S. and flagrant tax evasion by the rich.
August 8, 2012, Bullet No. #677: Greece: Syriza Shines a Light, Hilary Wainwright Like a swan moving forward with relaxed confidence while paddling furiously beneath the surface, Syriza, the radical left coalition that could become the next government of Greece, is facing enormous challenges calmly but with intensified activity.
August 4, 2012: Greece and Left Turn The second Green Left Report features: Mike Karadjis, (Political Economy, Sydney University), Antony Loewenstein, (independent journalist, author of Left Turn), Carlo Sands; the Christmas Carol Crims; + more!
July 21, 2012: Report on the Greek Left, Leo Panitch In Greece, the debate continues on the Greek left about what to offer up to the Greek people, what solutions can the left present, and what politics should the left be uniting around. Now joining us to talk about all this, and recently returned from Greece, is Leo Panitch. You were there during an important debate that was going on. What did you observe?
June 25, 2012: transform! Newsletter 9/2012 - After the Greek Elections Special Edition of the newsletter focused on the political situation in Greece, in cooperation with Nicos Poulantzas Institute (NPI). The night of the Greek elections of 17 June punctuated the map of Modern Greek history. For the first time, parties left of the Social democracy received such a large percentage (37.5%), and assume the position of the major opposition.
June 24, 2012: The Challenges of the Greek Left After the Election, Panitch, Leo After two years of anti-austerity street battles, Greece is in the midst of a highly polarized electoral battle. Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, gained 10% over their previous election result. But the direction and programme of Syriza is far from settled, and containing many contradiction and tensions. The crisis in Greece and Europe is far from settled, and will enter a new phase. Leo Panitch having just returned from a week in Greece where he met many senior officials in Syriza, and also of the radical left coalition Antarsya, speaking at one of their congresses.
June 16, 2012: The making of SYRIZA, Panos Petrou Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, known as SYRIZA, has a chance of winning parliamentary elections in Greece on June 17, which would give it an opportunity to form a government of the left that would reject the drastic austerity measures imposed on Greece as a condition of the European Union's bailout of the country's financial elite. SYRIZA rose from small-party status to a second-place finish in elections on May 6, finishing ahead of the center-left PASOK party, which has ruled Greece for most of the past four decades, and close behind the main conservative party New Democracy.
June 13, 2012: Electoral program of SYRIZA And the second Memorandum of government came to an end. As much as we wanted to avoid elections, the public outcry imposed. On May 6 we can say a resounding "No!" To reiterate our vote with the cry of "Go!" Which was heard in the squares of the cities of Greece. [computer translation by Google]
June 13, 2012, Bullet No. #654: Greece and Our Illusions, Samir Sonti While it may be premature to speculate on the legacy left by the various social upheavals that have occurred since early-2011, the electoral tide sweeping across Europe offers additional evidence that something fundamental is happening.
June 12, 2012, Bullet No. #653: The Economic Program of SYRIZA-EKM, G. Dragasakis Alexis Tsipras, the president of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group already presented a large part of our economic program and primarily the rationale of the program. That allows me to focus on a few specific points. Listening to Mr. Samaras yesterday, and also on other occasions, reading out long lists of measures, I feel the need to explain what we mean when we talk about a program.
June 7, 2012: Why Greece's June Elections Matter to All of Us The final opinion polls before the June 17 parliamentary elections in Greece report that SYRIZA has the support of between 25 and 31.5% of voters, up from the 16.7% it won in the May 2012 elections, when it stunned many people by leaping to second place among Greece's many political contenders. It's possible that SYRIZA could come first this time.
June 1, 2012, Bullet No. #645: SYRIZA's Proposals: The Exit From the Crisis Is On the Left, SYRIZA The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.
May 30, 2012: transform! Newsletter 6/2012 - special on Greece The political situation in Greece has attracted the attention of people worldwide. For the last 2 years the country has been a large political laboratory. The European elites and Greek governments experimented on how the society of a European country would react if severe austerity measures would be imposed on it. But now, the situation seems to have been turned upside down. The former guinea pig, Greek people, seems really likely to take over the laboratory, since the forthcoming elections of 17 June may have as an outcome a victory of the left party of SYRIZA.
May 30, 2012, Bullet No. #643: Syriza's Rise, Michalis Spourdalakis The rise of Syriza, Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, in the May elections and in polls since has changed the political landscape of Europe. Michalis Spourdalakis, professor of political science at Athens University, talked to Alex Doherty about Syriza, the reasons for their success and what the prospects are now for the radical left in Greece and beyond.
May 12, 2012, Bullet No. #632: A Triumph of the Radical Left in Greece, Haris Golemis The recent electoral results in Greece was a serious blow to the governments of Merkel and Sarkozy, as well as to all those arrogant neoliberal parties, politicians, analysts, EU, ECB and IMF officials who thought that the European people can suffer passively and for an indefinite period the extreme austerity policies of neoliberal orthodoxy, which supposedly aim to an exit from the capitalist crisis in Europe.
May 8, 2012: People of Greece Shake Europe Costos Lapavitsas: The growing strength of the left shows the Greek people are getting ready to leave the Eurozone.
February 26, 2012, Bullet No. #602: Greek Lessons: Democracy versus Debt-Bondage, David McNally It is a truism to say that democracy began with the Greeks -- less so to say that it originated in popular rebellion against debt and debt-bondage. Yet, with the Greek people ensnared once more in the vice-grip of rich debt-holders, it may be useful to recall that fact.
February 14, 2012, Bullet No. #598: Greece: From Despair to Resistance, Panagiotis Sotiris On Sunday February 12, the people of Greece, in demonstrations and street fights all over the country expressed in a massive, collective and heroic way their anger against the terms of the new loan agreement dictated by the EU-ECB-IMF troika. Workers, youth, students filled the streets with rage, defying the extreme aggression by police forces, setting another example of struggle and solidarity.
January 24, 2012: For Greece default is the only option, Costas Lapavitsas Negotiations to reduce Greek debt have been suspended after no agreement could be reached last week. At some point in the near future Greece seems certain to default on its obligations. But the drama surrounding the talks in Athens, Berlin and Paris shows that there will be nothing co-operative about Greek default.
November 17, 2011, Bullet No. #570: Political Crisis in Italy and Greece: Marx on 'Technical Government', Marcello Musto In recent years Karl Marx has again been featured in the world's press because of his prescient insights into the cyclical and structural character of capitalist crises. Now there is another reason why he should be re-read in the light of Greece and Italy: the reappearance of the 'technical government.'
November 13, 2011, Bullet No. #568: Italy and Greece: Rule by the Bankers, Michael Roberts It looks as though, by Monday, both Greece and Italy will be ruled by so-called 'technocratic' governments. Even though both Greek prime minister George Papandreou and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi were elected comfortably in parliamentary polls and were never defeated in any vote of confidence in parliament, they have been ousted -- to be replaced by unelected ex-central bankers.
October 23, 2011, Bullet No. #561: Greece on the Brink of Emergency: A Matter of Days, Aris Leonas In Greece a number of factors stand out, suggesting that Greece is on the verge of some major changes. The disruption of basic operations of the state in conjunction with the wide spread certainty that the Greek debt cannot be controlled compose the picture of political instability and crisis which seems to be the precursor of a more generalized political crisis.
June 21, 2011: Greece: Society-wide anger, Aris Chatzistefanou Leigh Phillips talked to Debtocracy director Aris Chatzistefanou about the left and the current situation in Greece. "Added together, there has been the best showing for the left parties in decades in elections, but there are four main different left parties, and splits every few months. Have you seen Monty Python's Life of Brian?"
June 16, 2011: Austerity in Greece Meant to Break Workers' Resistance, Leo Panitch Paul Jay interviews Leo Panitch on the latest problems the Greek government is dealing with - default on its debt, banks want to make Greek people pay a heavy price, anti-austerity demonstarions.
June 16, 2011: Greece: Days of unrest and hope, Panagiotis Sotiris The only way to describe recent developments is Greece is to refer to a peaceful popular insurrection. The mass gatherings at city squares at the centres of all major Greek cities continue to gather momentum. On Sunday 5 June, Athens and most Greek cities experienced some of the biggest mass rallies in recent history.
April 9, 2011, Bullet No. #489: Greece: The Struggle of the 300 Immigrant Hunger Strikers Ends in Victory, Vagia Lysikatou The desperate struggle of the 300 immigrant workers, who started a hunger strike on 25 January in Athens and Thessaloniki ended in a victory. The 300 immigrants endangered their lives in order to demand their self-evident right to a life in dignity.
March 25, 2011: Greece: The Very Symbol of Illegitimate Debt, Eric Toussaint The Greek public debt made the headlines when the country's leaders accepted the austerity measures demanded by the IMF and the European Union, sparking very significant social struggles throughout 2010. But where does this Greek debt come from?
June 8, 2010, Bullet No. #366: Class Struggles Heat Up in Greece, Dimitris Fasfalis Workers in Greece today stand in the forefront of the converging European class struggles against big capital's attempt to make working people pay the costs of its crisis.
May 18, 2010, Bullet No. #356: The Greek People are the Victims of an Extortion Racket, Olivier Besancenot and Pierre-François Grond What is happening in Greece concerns all of us. The people are paying for a crisis and a debt that are not their own. Today it is the Greeks, tomorrow it will be others, for the same causes will produce the same effects if we allow it.
May 4, 2010, Bullet No. #350: Cutting Public Debt: Economic Science or Class War?, Hugo Radice In The Bullet no.345, Ingo Schmidt showed how the credit rating agencies have sparked an assault by international bondholders on the sovereign debt of Greece, where workers are being made to pay heavily for the fiscal crisis of the state. The following day, April 28th, the London-based Institute for Fiscal Studies made a major intervention in the British election campaign, publishing a report which called on the three main parties to 'come clean' about their plans for dealing with Britain's very own fiscal crisis...
April 27, 2010, Bullet No. #345: Greece: Driven into Crisis, Ingo Schmidt Neoliberal order reigns in the world. Stock markets are recovering from the crash in the fall of 2008. Private banks are no longer weighed down by bad loans that were added to public deficits. The latter were rising anyways because the economic crisis had sent tax revenues on a downward slide. Add further bailout money for financial companies and fiscal stimulus and you get a veritable fiscal crisis of the state.