February 26, 2015

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Paul Mason: Missing from the Greek deal: figures from here What happened on 25 January was a social and psychological revolution: the end of a period that began in December 1944, whereby the left was excluded from power in Greece. Many people who voted for Syriza are privately up in arms over the scale of the retreat – but they blame Germany first, Europe second and their own government a long, long third. They will, for now, swallow evisceration of their party’s programme on two conditions: one, that the government goes on delivering on non-fiscal policies. It costs nothing, for example, to dissolve the detested riot squad DELTA, created after the unrest of 2008. The current plan is to “merge it” with the more established, less fascist infiltrated riot squads of the ordinary police. I would also expect the beefed up tax authorities to go in hard on a few symbolic members of the so called oligarchy. Success in such endeavours would barely register at the ECB, yet be seen as massive delivery on promises by the 42 per cent of voters who voted left on 25 January. Ultimately however, there may have to be a second big shift in Greece. The Syriza leadership miscalculated the level of support they would get from Italy, Germany, Britain and the USA – all of whom wanted the institutions to cut the Greek government more slack than they got. The shock in Syriza’s upper echelons, symbolised by the expression on Alexis Tsipras’ face as he addressed the nation on Saturday, was...
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Open letter to parties of the radical left in Europe from Dimitris Belantis and Stathis Kouvelakis Open Letter to the MPs of Die Linke MPs - and to other the parties of the radical Left in Europe Dimitris Belantis - Stathis Kouvelakis, Syriza Central Committee Dear comrades, We want to inform you and your parties aboout the content of the provisional agreement between the Greek government and the leadership of the Eurozone on February 20 2015 – or at least how we understand it. At the same time we want to give you a brief assessment of the content of the reform list sent by our Finance Minister Gianis Varoufakis to the Eurogroup. Neither text corresponds to the main points of Syriza’s electoral program. What is even worse, they make it impossible to implement the main points of that program. We will give you here only a few examples. Increasing the minimum wage to 750 euros [that is its 2009 level] cannot be in the short-term decided “unilaterally” by our Parliament. It can only be a long-term perspective, subject to the condition that it doesn’t harm the country's “competitiveness”. The privatizations which are already completed will be left untouched. For those that are still underway, the process should be completed “respecting their legality”. No objection of principle to privatizations is be found at any point in the text. Instead, the agreement asserts that the “modernization” of the social security system should be carried out, and we know that, as in the past, this kind of “modernization” actually means drastic cuts in welfare. Under the terms of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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