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Yanis Varoufakis: 'Our Athens Spring'

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – This speech was delivered on August 23, 2015, by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, at the Festival of the Rose, at Frangy-en-Bresse, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire. The festival is organised by the local organisation of the French Socialist Party, which is associated with former French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg. Montebourg was sacked from this post in August 2014 by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

* * *

Let me tell you why I am here with words I have borrowed from a famous old manifesto. I am here because:

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: The state-sponsored bankers and the Eurogroup, the Troika and Dr Schäuble, Spain’s heirs of Franco’s political legacy and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany's Berlin leadership, Baltic governments that subjected their populations to terrible, unnecessary recession and Greece’s resurgent oligarchy.

Greece: New radical left front to challenge SYRIZA in snap election

Panagiotis Lafazanis.

By Stathis Kouvelakis, Athens

August 21, 2015 -- First appeared on Kouvelakis' Facebook page, reposted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Early this morning, 25 SYRIZA MPs left the parliamentary group of the party to create a new group, under the name of “Popular Unity” (Laiki Enotita in Greek). Most of these MPs are affiliated to the Left Platform, but some others also joined like Vangelis Diamantopoulos or Rachel Makri, a close collaborator of Zoe Kostantopoulou.

[The new party will stand in the snap September 20 general election announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on August 20.]

This is a major development in Greek politics but also for the radical left, in Greece and at an international level.

Three elements need to be emphasised.

RISE: Scotland's new left alliance to launch

Click for more on left politics in Scotland

New political force will launch on August 29

August 24, 2015 -- Scottish Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We are pleased to announce the name under which the new coalition of the left being launched on August 29 will stand. Our name -- RISE, Scotland's Left Alliance -- reflects our political outlook and organisational make-up.

Respect: We stand for a society where we end racism, sexism, discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and where people of all backgrounds, colours and creeds are treated with respect and dignity.

Independence: We stand for Independence for Scotland. But our Independence is based on ending neoliberalism, austerity and the membership of NATO. We are for ending the monarchy and putting people in charge.

Socialism: We are for a social alternative to capitalism where people run the affairs of our society democratically and where the vast resources of society are utilised in common, rather than for the super-rich.

Grecia, ruptura en Syriza: ¡Nace 'Unidad Popular'!

Panagiotis Lafazanis.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4560.]

Por Stathis Kouvelakis, Athens

21 de agosto de 2015 -- Viento Sur -- Esta mañana, a primera hora, 25 diputados de Syriza abandonaron el grupo parlamentario del partido para crear una nueva formación bajo el nombre de "Unidad Popular". La mayor parte de estos diputados están afiliados a la Plataforma de Izquierdas, pero se han unido también otros como Vangelis Diamantopoulos o Rachel Makri, una estrecha colaboradora de Zoe Konstantopoulou.

Este es un acontecimiento importante en la política griega, pero también para la izquierda radical en Grecia y a escala internacional.

Se deben subrayar tres elementos:

El primero es que "Unidad Popular" es el nombre de un nuevo frente político que reagrupará a trece organizaciones de la izquierda radical, aquellas que firmaron el texto publicado el 13 de agosto a favor de la constitución de un "Frente por el NO". Este frente es por lo tanto el primer resultado tangible de la recomposición de la izquierda radical de Grecia. Una recomposición que extrae todas las lecciones de los últimos cinco años y, por supuesto, de la experiencia de Syriza en el poder y de la catástrofe en la que ha desembocado.

Greece: SYRIZA 2.0? Split looms as third memorandum passes

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

August 21, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- By any normal logic Greece’s SYRIZA-led government should be sinking in the opinion polls. On July 12, at the Brussels summit of Eurozone leaders, it agreed to implement a set of draconian preconditions for obtaining a third €86 billion bail-out—effectively reversing the opposition to austerity on which it had been elected on January 25.

Legislation enabling the implementation of the memorandum, covering 35 “prior actions” required of the government, was adopted by the Greek parliament on August 14, with 64 MPs voting against. Of SYRIZA’s 149 MPs, 32 voted no to the deal—including Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis, parliament speaker Zoe Constantopoulou and former finance minister YanisVaroufakis—and 11 abstained, with one MP absent.

Lessons from Greece: Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler debate SYRIZA

August 13, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, also posted at LeftStreamed -- In this video of a debate, 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, associate professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Panitch is Canada research chair in comparative political economy at York University, Toronto. Fidler is life-long socialist, activist and writer who blogs at http://lifeonleft.blogspot.ca/

Scottish Socialist Party to affiliate with new left alliance

By the Scottish Socialist Party,

August 8, 2015 -- Scottish Socialist Party, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Scottish Socialist  Party (SSP) National Council members have voted in favour of the party becoming an affiliate of a new electoral alliance for the Scottish elections next year.

Party co-spokesperson Sandra Webster highlighted the potential for socialism to grow in this alliance.

At our NC ... the comrades present voted to enter an alliance with the soon to be renamed Scottish Left Project. All of our comrades should be proud of their passionate discussion and resolution. The SSP look forward to being at the heart of the alliance hoping socialists may be elected to Holyrood in 2016. I look forward to continuing to build the SSP and building a movement that is truly grassroots.

Alexis Tsipras: 'Austerity is a dead end ... the struggle continues'

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  hopes to contribute to the left debate on Greece by providing background information, thoughtful comment and presenting positions of various left organisations.

Alexis Tsipras interviewed by Kostas Arvanitis (STO kokkino radio), published in French in L’Humanité, July 31, 2015; translated by Eric Canepa (unauthorised version)

Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch: SYRIZA's dilemma

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a swearing-in ceremony this month. Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a swearing-in ceremony this month. Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters.

[The Greece-EU “agreement” has set off debates on the left on why the SYRIZA government "agreed" to such harsh terms and what are the next steps for the left in Greece, and across Europe. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal hopes to contribute to this by providing essential background information, thoughtful comment and presenting the positions of various left organisations.]

By Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch

Greece: SYRIZA central committee member John Milios on how to end austerity

A man receiving food from a solidarity network in Attica, Greece. Greece Reporter

A man receiving food from a solidarity network in Attica, Greece. Photo Greece Reporter.

July 21, 2015 -- Jacobin, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission with permission -- 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”. Finally,on July 15, the first pieces of enabling legislation were passed by the Greek parliament with a large rebellion of SYRIZA members of parliament voting against the laws.

Knife at its throat, Greece yields to Troika brutality

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

July 22, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- 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:

I would like to put this question very honestly to each and every one of you who is going to vote today: "The blackmail [of the Eurozone institutions] that you mentioned—was it real or fictional?"

If you think it was fictional, then I am open to hearing different alternatives, and together we can work on them.

Feminist economists reject EU conditions on Greece

Resolution signed by more than 135 delegates at the 24th Annual Conference of International Association for Feminist Economics as a personal expression of concern.

July 23, 2015 -- Kafila, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We are shocked that the European Union institutions and European leaders are imposing on the people of Greece a further program of austerity that will severely undermine the living conditions of women and men and plunge them into a deep crisis of deprivation. This hits Greek women particularly hard as they will have to provide the safety net of last resort through intensified work of taking care of their families, friends and communities.

Philippines solidarity with the Greek struggle against implementation of austerity

Anti-austerity rally in Athens before the July 5 referendum.

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

July 21, 2015 -- Partido Lakas ng Masa, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Under threat of economic collapse and a humanitarian catastrophe, after five months of "negotiations", which have been described as “mental water-boarding”, the Greek government has accepted the punitive funding deal that represents the interests of the big banks and European finance capital and which imposes further austerity and debt on the people of Greece.

Under the deal the VAT system will be made more regressive, pensioners will suffer further cuts, the power sector utility ADMIE will be privatised along with other public assets to service an unserviceable and illegitimate debt and collective bargaining will be eroded.

'New Politics' on 'What next in the Greek crisis?'

[The Greece-EU “agreement” has set off debates on the left on why the SYRIZA government "agreed" to such harsh terms and what are the next steps for the left in Greece, and across Europe. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal hopes to contribute to this by providing essential background information, thoughtful comment and presenting the positions of various left organisations.]

By Barry Finger

Thermopylae or Versailles? Greece deal threatens to destroy European project

By Duroyan Fertl

July 17, 2015 -- Hintadupfing, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The promise of a peaceful integration of capitalist equals lies tattered on the floor of a negotiation room in Brussels. There, the SYRIZA-led Greek government finally succumbed to the blackmail, economic carpet-bombing and “mental water-boarding” of the institutions of European capitalism.

The final weeks of the debt negotiations culminating in a cynical political coup against Greece have laid bare the undemocratic, technocratic nature of the European Union (EU), which operates as a thieves’ kitchen to protect vested financial interests at an incalculable human cost.

Zoe Konstantopoulou: NO a los ultimátum, NO al memorando de la servidumbre

El discurso pronunciado la mañana del 11 de julio de 2015

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4510.]

Por Zoe Konstantopoulou, presidente del Parlamento griego

CADTM

* * *

Señoras y señores, estimados colegas,

En momentos como estos, debemos actuar y hablar con sinceridad institucional y coraje político. Debemos asumir la responsabilidad que recae en todos y cada uno de nosotros.

Debemos defender, de acuerdo a los dictados de nuestra conciencia, las causas justas y los derechos sagrados, inviolables y no negociables de nuestro pueblo y de nuestra sociedad. Debemos proteger el legado de aquellos que dieron sus vidas y su libertad para que hoy podamos vivir como personas libres. Debemos preservar la herencia de las nuevas generaciones y de las futuras, así como la de la civilización humana. También debemos preservar esos valores irrenunciables que definen y alientan nuestra existencia personal y colectiva.

Cómo elige y decide actuar cada persona puede variar y nadie tiene el derecho de trivializar las decisiones que se toman a partir de un juicio personal y existencial, para denigrarlas o explotarlas políticamente.

Socialist Alliance on Greece: 'This is a coup, cancel the debt!'

Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia) national executive

July 16, 2015 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialist Alliance condemns the effective imposition of colonial status on Greece by the ruling institutions of the European Union (EU), which represent the interests of the big banks whose speculative excesses contributed in great part to the accumulation of the “Greek debt” they are now seeking to recover.

This is a coup and a brutal assault on democracy.

The popular will of the Greek people, expressed in the 61.3% "Oxi" (“No”) vote in the July 5 referendum on the previous European Union austerity demands is being denied and even the decisions of the Greek parliament has been put under EU supervision and control.

The struggle continues in Greece: 'Jacobin' interview with Stathis Kouvelakis

In Athens, supporters of the "No" campaign celebrate after the first results of the July 5 referendum. Yannis Kolesids / EPA.

[The Greece-EU “agreement” has inevitablely set off huge debates on the left on why the SYRIZA government "agreed" to such harsh terms and what are the next steps for the left in Greece, and across Europe. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal hopes to contribute to this by providing essential background information, thoughtful comment and presenting the positions of various left organisations.]

Stathis Kouvelakis interviewed by Sebastian Budgen

Majority of SYRIZA leaders against the coup

Introduction by Socialist Worker (USA)

July 15, 2015 -- 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 by passing core components the latest drastic austerity measures by Wednesday.

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