Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greece: Could Syriza Win?

Ari Paul, reporting for The Nation, examines the possibility:

Greece’s new center-right government is set to impose fresh austerity measures in the fall, including further privatization of utilities, railways and ports. With unions already angry over wage and pension cuts, more work stoppages and demonstrations are expected. Three ministers have already resigned their posts, including a deputy labor minister who said the ruling coalition has no intention of keeping its campaign promise to renegotiate with the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), which had insisted on more austerity as a condition of continued aid to avert bankruptcy.

The government is already unstable. With labor’s help, the people could bring it down, observers say, giving the once-marginal Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), the biggest opposition group in Parliament, a chance of forming a labor-backed government opposed to the Troika’s demands.

Paul then examines the relative strengths of Pasok (the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, the traditional party of labor in Greece) and Syriza (which Paul refers to as the "radical left"), the difficulty of persuading labor voters to switch their votes, the likelihood of strikes and work stoppages, etc. ... things which hardly ever happen in America due to the weakness of our labor movement, but which are more common tools in Europe.

As usual, I am in no position to comment on the desirability of such a change, but I'm sure l'Enfant will tell us.


  1. Steve,
    I have seen this article on NATION.
    However, PASOK is no longer a labor party, but a wild neoliberal party.
    The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza)has taken its place.
    Yet, although the "troika of the interior", (New Democracy-pasok-Democratic Left), as opposed to the "troika of the exterior" (IMF, ECB-EC) co-govern, pasok seats as "opposition" to New Democracy.
    A small town of 3,500 of our fellow citizens (out of 10.000.000 people) has already committed suicide in the past ten months.
    I am not sure SYRIZA is ready for leadership: for now, they'd better fill their role as opposition -and they do quite well- , until they manage to stabilize their program.

    It is now official: The Eurozone’s monetary transmission system is broken:


    But the crisis spreads across Europe, see France:
    France in the vice: Austerity that dare not speak its name

  2. In my post (the last one) many links are in english!

  3. Thanks, Enfant, for your lucid explanation of the political situation and for the links, both here and on your site. I am otherwise committed at the moment, but when I get time, probably tomorrow, I'll follow up on the sources you have pointed out.



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