a SYRIZA Victory

Published on ZNet, by Mike-Frank Epitropoulos, Jan 25, 2015.

… Memoranda and Austerity: Cutting Up Greece:

  • But, how could this NOT come to pass? The “demonstration” of brutal cuts and austerity has been – by all accounts – an ABYSMAL FAILURE. (Even IMF officials have admitted that there was – and is – no possible way for Greece to escape this vicious cycle without serious, fundamental change).  
  • The conditionality of the “bailout” loans to Greece has been based on severe austerity and theoretical free-market discipline. This has included massive cuts to health care, education, and infrastructure; lay offs of public and private workers, wage cuts (averaging 30%), pension cuts, and the privatization and selling off of a lot of Greek national properties and operations.
  • The beloved measure of mainstream economics, GDP, has declined 29% since the onset of budget cutting austerity;
  • Unemployment stands at 25% for the population, and over 60% for Greek youth. In 2010, I wrote about the “€600 generation” that people worried about. Now, we are literally down to the “€300 generation” – in the name of ‘competitiveness’;
  • It is estimated that there are up to 300,000 Greek households without electricity, accruing mainly the fact that the Troika and their Greek government partners tied newly-implemented property taxes to electric bills;
  • Greek sovereign debt stood at 113% of GDP in 2009 and with the Memoranda’s mandatory austerity program has not reduced that, but has RAISED that debt to 175% of GDP.
  • These numbers alone are WORSE than the WORST moments of the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US.
  • Democracy, in terms of rights to protest and fight back has been curtailed. Unions have been cracked down upon, and public broadcasting has been broken into pieces by the oligarch-backed ND-PASOK coalition (along with the small “Democratic Left – DIMAR” party for a short while).
  • Beyond that, the human toll of despair and desperation is characterized by record numbers of suicide, homelessness and poverty. There are tragic stories of teachers and doctors eating out of garbage cans, and of many people abandoning the cities to return to their home villages where even less opportunity exists. The aforementioned youth have been migrating out of the country, seeking opportunities abroad like their forefathers and mothers did in previous generations. And those left behind are tasked with keeping the country together and rejuvenating the economy and society.

So Here We Are: A Second Demonstration Project: … //

… The Threat of a SYRIZA Demonstration Effect:

  • Debt repayment under current structures and conditions is impossible. Greece isn’t the only country in dire economic straits in Europe, as is well known. The combined debt of Italy and Spain is estimated to be about €3.5 trillion. In Spain, Podemos, another Left alternative party led by Pablo Iglesias, for example, has joined SYRIZA’s, Alexi Tsipra, in campaigning for an EU-wide response to austerity and Troika heavy-handedness. Sovereignty and any semblance of democracy have been compromised beyond belief, killing any hope or expectation of a brighter future for the many. But this is a competitive, conflictual capitalist economy, so conflict should be a built-in feature of the system.
  • It is clear that you cannot “cut your way to prosperity.” (This notion has been totally discredited, and is only endorsed by those free-marketeers who have reified “the market” to religious status.)
  • A victory for SYRIZA this Sunday will have great symbolic value for Greeks and for others in Europe and around the world. An anti-austerity Left party will have been elected in the rubble of having been beaten down, and in the face of threats and propaganda. People will have been elevated as more important than money by the will of the people. But this will not be the end; this will be the beginning of an untested Demonstration Project.
  • Mike-Frank Epitropoulos teaches Sociology and is the Director of the Pitt in Greece & Pitt in Cyprus programs at the University of Pittsburgh. He spent three years teaching in both private and public-sector higher education in Greece before returning to the US in 2007.

Sources: A full list of sources is available: … //

… (full text).

UPDATE 26.1.2015/10.36 MEZ: 5 years of humiliation, suffering over, Anti-austerity party to form govt in Greece *, on Russia Today RT, Jan 26, 2015: The leader expects to be sworn in as the country’s PM on Monday. By Wednesday he will have a government in place, a Syriza official told Reuters … // … “The verdict of our people means the troika is finished. The verdict of the Greek people ends, beyond any doubt, the vicious circle of austerity in our country.” Tspiras was referring to three main creditors of the country – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank …;
* (my comment: depends on how strong the global financial system still is / resp how willing its representatives are to act / to impose its will on people … or how ready those willing for a global and just economy are to protect them and implement a reset of the whole system – H).

Related Links:

Other Links:

American Mercenaries Filmed Near Massive Mariupol Explosion, on Activist Post, by Dahboo77, Jan 24, 2015;

Sanctions always hurt wrong person, open dialogue needed – Davos Forum, on Russia Today RT, Jan 24, 2015;

Truthdigger of the Week: Barrett Brown, on truthDig (first on ProPublica), by Alexander Reed Kelly, Jan 24, 2015;

US: Why Many Cities Aren’t Allowed to Provide the Cheap, Fast Internet Obama Wants You to Have, on truthDig, by Leticia Miranda, Jan 24, 2015;

The Working Class and Left Politics: Back on the American Radar, on New Politics, by Dan La Botz, Summer 2014.

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