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Antarsya (Greece)

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

Greece: European powers tighten the noose

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Stathis Kouvelakis

April 25, 2015 -- International Viewpoint, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- 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.

Two days later, Dimitris Mardas, the deputy minister of finance in charge of state revenue, declared that €400 million was missing to pay for pensions and salaries at the end of the month. A few hours later, he said the money was found and that he was now trying to constitute cash reserves. But according to sources, Mardas informed SYRIZA members of parliament at a meeting that same day that the state reserves wouldn’t be able to make all payments in May.

Greece: Is SYRIZA radical enough?

SYRIZA's closing election rally, Athens, January 22.

By Ed Rooksby

January 22, 2015 -- New Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but a party of the radical left is on the cusp of power in an EU country. The latest opinion polls indicate that SYRIZA will triumph in the Greek national elections to be held on January 25 and although it may not win an absolute majority in parliament it would (assuming it can find coalition partners) certainly be the dominant force in any coalition government that emerged.

Why the whole world is watching Greece

SYRIZA supporters rally.

January 20, 2015 -- Socialist Worker (USA), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of the Radical Left, or 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. Here, Lee Sustar answers your questions about the rise of SYRIZA and what a victory for it on January 25 would mean.

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Why is so much attention focused on the Greek elections?

Greece: Syriza after its founding congress -- views from the party's left

Alexis Tsipras addresses the SYRIZA congress.

For more on Syriza, click HERE. Read Alexis Tsipras' speeches to the the congress HERE.]

By Stathis Kouvelakis

July 18, 2013 -- Contretemps via International Viewpoint -- This article reflects on the founding congress of Syriza as a political party, rather than a coalition of fourteen organisations, which took place on 10-15th July 2013.

To the crucible: an Irish engagement with the Greek crisis and the Greek left

Syriza poster, Synaspismos office in Athens, Helena Sheehan on the streets with Syriza in Athens.

[For more discussion of SYRIZA, click HERE.]

By Helena Sheehan

January 21, 2013 -- Irish Left Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at the author's suggestion and with her permission -- 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.

Greece in the eye of the storm (the Greek left, SYRIZA and the limits of the concept of ‘left reformism’)

SYRIZA rally. Photo by SYN Flickr.

By Paul Kellogg

November 18, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, originally published as six notes at PolEcon.net. Republished here with Paul Kellogg’s permission.-- 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.

Richard Seymour: A comment on Greece and Syriza

Photo from Kasama Project.

[For more discussion of SYRIZA, click HERE.]

By Richard Seymour

October 9, 2012 -- International Socialism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of promoting left discussion -- The “strategic perplexity” of the left confronted with the gravest crisis of capitalism in generations has been hard to miss.1 Social democracy continues down the road of social liberalism. The far left has struggled to take advantage of ruling-class disarray. Radical left formations have tended to stagnate at best. Two exceptions to this pattern are the Front de Gauche in France and Syriza in Greece. While the Front de Gauche did not do as well as many hoped, it did channel a large vote for the radical left in the presidential elections won by Hollande. Meanwhile, Syriza is potentially a governing party in waiting.

Eyewitness account: SYRIZA and the Greek grassroots challenge to the politics of austerity

SYRIZA leader Alex Tsipras before speaking at a large assembly in the working-class suburb of Peristeri. Photo by Joanne Landy.

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

By Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy, co-directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (New York)

Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy recently returned from a trip to Greece, where they met with activists and others to gain a better understanding of the popular upsurge against the Greek government's austerity program.

Greece: Young revolutionary members of SYRIZA interviewed

Photo by Eric Ribellarsi.

June 18, 2012 -- Winter Has Its End/Kasama Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at the request of the author. It has been slightly abridged -- Eric Ribellarsi met with 10 young members of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE), which is part of the Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA. [The KOE comes out of the Maoist tradition and is the second-largest component of SYRIZA.] They discussed their backgrounds, experiences, the student movement, the orthodox Communist Party in Greece (KKE), revolutionary strategy and the political choices of revolutionary communists within the Greek crisis. Eric Ribellarsi is part of a reporting team in Greece.

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Can you tell me how some of you became communists? How did you come to join KOE?

Greece: SYRIZA pipped at the post; photos, videos of SYRIZA's final election rally, Athens

June 18, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Afrodity Giannakis, Green Left Weekly correspondent in Greece and an activist in SYRIZA, gives her first impressions of the result of the June 17 general election where the conservative New Democracy beat the left coalition SYRIZA into first place by just 3% of the vote. Younger voters voted strongly for the left while older voters tended to vote conservative.

Graphic from http://www.skai.gr/ekloges2012.

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

June 18, 2012 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, just failed in it's second attempt to become the largest party in Greece's parliament, winning 26.9% of the vote in the June 17 general election, up from 17%. The right-wing New Democracy party came in first with almost 29.7%. SYRIZA was up against enormous odds, with the weight of Europe's ruling classes unleashing an all-out propaganda offensive against it.

Richard Seymour: The challenge of SYRIZA

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

By Richard Seymour

"...this isn't just another election. The choice is between a New Democracy-led austerity government, which would be immensely demoralising, and a SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government, which would give the whole continental left a massive shot in the arm and open up a host of new possibilities. This is a key moment in which a great deal is condensed, which will be formative of a great deal of the political and ideological terrain for some time, and any formation that appears to bring the latter possibility closer isn't helping the industrial struggle."

Greece: 'For an anti-austerity government of the left'

By Socialist Resistance (Britain)

This statement was agreed to at a meeting of the Socialist Resistance National Committee on May 26, 2012. Socialist Resistance is affiliated to the Fourth International. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to promote left discussion. For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.]

May 28, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- Syriza’s stunning vote in the recent elections has shaken the Greek and European ruling classes to their foundations. It was a total rejection of the austerity package, on a progressive basis, by 60% of the electorate and has created not only the biggest crisis, but the most significant class confrontation in Europe since the Portuguese revolution of 1974.

Grecia: las perspectivas de un gobierno de SYRIZA

Alexis Tsipras.

Para más análisis de la política en Grecia, AQUÍ.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2861.]

Por Christos Kefalis

13/5/2012 -- Sinpermiso -- Las elecciones legislativas del 6 de mayo han producido un resultado sensacional, abriendo un nuevo capítulo en la historia política de Grecia. Asimismo, repercutirán significativamente en la situación política europea.

 El resultado muestra una clara polarización entre derecha e izquierda y una ruptura de las fuerzas políticas dominantes hasta el momento, el Movimiento Socialista Panhelénico (PASOK) y Nueva Democracia, el llamado "sistema bipartidista", que ha dominado la vida política griega desde 1974.

(Updated May 13) Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

For more analysis of politics in Greece, click HERE.

STOP PRESS, May 13, 2012 -- In the wake of the failure of the three first-placed parties to secure a parliamentary majority, it is almost certain that a new election will be held. New opinion polls released May 12 show that support for Greece's austerity parties continues to drop, while the radical left SYRIZA has increased its vote since the May 6 elections, and is now Greece's most popular party. According to a poll by Kapa Research, SYRIZA Coalition of Radical Left would receive 20.5% of votes, 3.7% higher than May 6. Support for New Democracy fell to 18.1% from 18.85% in the elections, while PASOK would receive 12.2%, down from 13.2%. Support for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party fell to 5.8% from 7%, above the 3% threshold needed to enter parliament. The right-wing Independent Greeks was on 8.4%, while support for the Democratic Left party is on 5% and the KKE 6.5%. Another opinion poll published May 12 showed SYRIZA on 25.5% if elections were held now.

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By Christos Kefalis, Athens

Το αποτέλεσμα των ελληνικών εκλογών και οι πολιτικές προοπτικές στην Ελλάδα

[English at Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?]

του Χρήστου Κεφαλή*

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Οι ελληνικές εκλογές της 6ης Μάη παρήγαγαν ένα συγκλονιστικό, εντυπωσιακό αποτέλεσμα που σίγουρα ανοίγει ένα νέο κεφάλαιο στην πολιτική ιστορία της Ελλάδας και θα έχει σημαντικές επίσης επιπτώσεις στην ευρωπαϊκή κατάσταση. Το αποτέλεσμα δείχνει μια σαφή πόλωση μεταξύ αριστεράς και δεξιάς και τη διάλυση των μέχρι σήμερα κυρίαρχων πολιτικών δυνάμεων του δικομματισμού.

(Updated May 8) Greece: Austerity parties smashed, radical left makes big gains

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is calling on the non-PASOK left to unite to form government and abolish austerity policies.

By Yiorgos Vassalos

May 7, 2012 -- Ypsilo's Weblog -- The parties that have ruled the country since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 -- New Democracy (Nea Dimokratia) and the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) -- have collapsed in the May 6 parliamentary elections. In all elections since 1974 (except 1990-91) one of these two parties was able to gain a clear majority in the parliament and form governement, jointly scoring from 70% to 90% of the vote. On May 6, their combined vote was 33%.

New Democracy has fallen from 33% in 2009  to 19%, and from 2.3 million votes to 1.2 million. PASOK has fallen from 44% to 13%, from 3 million votes to 800,000.

LAOS, the extreme right party that also supported the eurozone loan agreements and the anti-social memorandums, fell from 5.6% to 2.9% and from 386,000 to 182,000.

Greece: ANTARSYA statement on the parliamentary elections to be held on May 6

ANTARSYA, Front of the Greek Anti-Capitalist Left, is a united front of left-wing groups. It is separate from SYRIZA . There are a number of political differences between SYRIZA and ANTARSYA — including on whether to demand immediate withdrawal from the European Union.

The following was ANTARSYA’s position statement before the May 6, 2012, election. In the election ANTARSYA won 75,000 votes or 1.5% — which was not enough to  have one of its representatives enter parliament to use it as a platform. The text and notes were first published in English on the website of the Kasama Project.

* * *

Greece: Independent left MP – ‘The rulers are scared'

Sofia Sakorafa interviewed by the Greek journal Marxist Thought, translated by Christos Kefalis and Afrodity Giannakis for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

January 18, 2012 -- At the October 26, 2011, European summit it was agreed to slash Greece’s debt on the condition that a new, draconian austerity package and “memorandum”be carried out by the Greek government. After the agreement and a mass wave of protests on October 28, a referendum was announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou, only to be revoked a few days later. There then followed an endless series of negotiations, which led to the formation of a new coalition government headed by Loukas Papadimos. The new government was backed by right-wing capitalist party New Democracy, Papandreou’s social-democratic Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and LAOS, the ultra-right party.

Greece: PASOK, right wing in deep crisis; support for anti-capitalist left grows

By Tassos Anastassiadis and Andreas Sartzekis

December 2010 -- International Viewpoint -- Not so long ago the defeat of the right-wing candidates in the municipal elections in the two major cities in Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki, would have been followed by scenes of popular enthusiasm in the streets throughout the night. There was nothing like that this time, when the right was defeated in cities where it had ruled for decades!

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