Why SYRIZA is good news for Europe

2015 campaign 1

The Cold War is over. Scaremongering campaigns on the part of German and European officials make no sense, as Syriza is not a threat to Europe but a breakthrough. Syriza’s programme advocates a substantial write-off and renegotiation of the bail-out agreements, accompanied with what is called a “development clause”. Vassilis K. Fouskas (Director of the Centre for the Study of States, Markets & People (STAMP) at the Royal Docks Business School, University of East London) explains why SYRIZA is good news for Europe.

Leaning towards a Keynesian, rather than a monetarist, approach, Syriza opts for balanced rather than surplus budgets, and advocates a return to the minimum wage and a relief programme for all affected by the crisis in order to stem the humanitarian fall-out. It also advocates a fair taxation system and a breaking of the nexus between corruption and comprador interests, although we have not yet seen a concrete reform programme concerning institutional renewal and re-organisation of Greece’s dilapidated state machine.

Elements of this programme should include a generous de-centralisation of the state strengthening the weak periphery, bringing into the heart of it the taxpayer and not the corrupt comprador element with its political networking, complexities and clientelist networks.

In all, this is a modest and reasonable programme from which moderate left and democratic socialist forces across Europe would benefit by letting themselves being steered clear of the monetarist consensus of the centre in which German anti-inflation interests and policies have the upper hand. Before the bail-out austerity agreements were implemented, Greece’s debt to GDP ratio was at 125%; today it is at 174%. Unemployment was at 9%; today it is at 27%, whereas youth unemployment is at 65%. Why then should demand-led policies be an anathema for Europe’s rulers?

To this end, socialist forces throughout Europe, especially in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the Labour Party in the UK, should support Syriza in its titanic effort to win the election of 25 January against the obscurantism of the falling, failed and corrupt regime that has been governing Greece not just since 1974 but since December 1944. “Two Karamanlises” of the Right-Wing New Democracy party and “three Papandreous” of various Centre-Left parties have ruled Greece from the 1940s to the present day. It is now time for those dynasties to go home. But there is also something else that should not go unnoticed….. Today, the phenomena of extremism and neo-Nazism have their roots directly in the market fundamentalism of ruling elites and neoliberal financialization. Rampant market forces feed xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism across Europe, and the wilder the supply-side policies are the more the likelihood that we will see the emergence of strong neo-Nazi parties.

see full article here

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