Just one week to go to the Greek General Election
Why’s it important?
Because Syriza may come to power – the first ever radical left-wing party to form a Greek government
What is Syriza?
It’s a Greek political party. Its name is an acronym of its full title: Coalition of the Radical Left.
Who’s its leader?
40 year old Alexis Tsipras
What’re its aims?
Syriza’s first priority is to act in the best interests of the Greek people. It is committed to lowering the enormous tax burden and to boosting public investment in an effort to accelerate growth.
1) by achieving a substantial write-off of Greek debt and,
2) lifting austerity.
No, listen. Syriza is proposing a European Debt Conference – similar to the one held for Germany after World War II. They are putting forward a feasible and progressive set of proposals to deal with the debt crisis in Europe. Their implementation would be a major boost to Irish and Eurozone growth, employment and poverty reduction.
Ms Merkel and her allies are going to support that!!!
Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb made it clear that Finland would not accept a writedown of Greek debt and stressed that the new government should not expect to be offered one.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that whoever assumed power would have to respect agreements signed by those in office before.
“The tough reforms are bearing fruit and there is no alternative to them,”
Comments: Fruit= 3.000,000 Greeks living in poverty
There are always alternatives
Someone who tells you there is no alternative (except what s/he wants you to do) is quite simply a liar.
“ The question is, are we going to religiously stick to the rules even if they are wrong and damage us, or the path that says ‘do whatever it takes to save our common home’, the EU, and more importantly our society, our people.”
What’s life like in Greece today?
The Greek GDP is – 25%,
unemployment + 25%,
real wages – 30%
industrial output – 35%.
The human cost has been immeasurable, amounting to a silent humanitarian crisis.
*Homelessness has rocketed,
*Primary healthcare has collapsed,
*Soup kitchens have multiplied
* Child mortality has increased.
*Over 25% Greeks (+3,000,000) live on, or below, the poverty line.
Tsipras likened the Troika’s measures to “fiscal waterboarding”.
What’ll happen if Syriza wins?
They’ll implement their manifesto. You can read all about what they intend doing here
Briefly, it will reconnect families to the electricity network, provide food relief and shelter the homeless. It will take immediate action to reduce unemployment through public programmes and pull out of NATO and all its campaigns
If Greece’s euro partners cooperate, fine. If not, then Tsipris will act unilaterally, especially if Syriza has a large majority.
What effects will a Syriza victory have on the EU?
It will bring into question the sustainability of unpopular austerity programmes in other eurozone countries.
It will create a paradigm of resistance that will give example to the other countries of the European south and periphery.
“If we don’t manage to create a wave in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and also the United Kingdom, to change Europe it will be a very difficult future for us. So that’s our aim – to create an enormous wave of change in Europe. –
Is Tsipras talking about an anti-austerity domino effect?
Yes. Take Spain for example. With Podemos topping polls,
a coalition with the PSOE (Socialist Party of Spain) looks really likely after Spain’s triple elections ( local, regional and a general election) this year . Podemos has taken a similar position as Syriza on addressing Eurozone and Spanish debt.
And then there’s Ireland. We’ll have an election by early 2016 at the latest.
At present Sinn Fein is the second biggest party with 21% of votes.
Fine Gael = 26%
Labour = 8% .
Fianna Fail = 18%
Sinn Fein is a close ally of Syriza In a 2 day visit to Ireland in March 2014
Tsipras met Gerry Adams and representatives of Sinn Féin leadership,
Two months later he called for the ‘immediate and unconditional release of Gerry Adams’ after his arrest in the Jean Mc Conville murder investigation.
Comments: Greeks have suffered far, far too much under the EU austerity régime.
Ordinary people in Europe appear to have a lot to gain and little to lose (except unending austerity) if Syriza races to victory in Greece next week