The Greek Drama of 2015: What Next?
a talk by Nicholas Levis (Nikos Evangelos)
The preliminary report of the parliamentary Truth Committee on Public Debt declared the entire Greek debt to be odious, unethical, unsustainable and illegal. Do they have a case?
Sunday, September 13, 2015
2:00 – 3:00pm
International Affairs Building, Room 409
Columbia University, Manhattan
Entrance at 118th Street and Amsterdam
Days to the Greek election. By the standards of 2015, this is an eternity, and so let us imagine things will be better than expected after the vote. But I fear every word Yorgos Mitralias writes in Counterpunch is on target. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/09/greece-a-capitulation-bearer-of-d…
Post-Syriza (or Syriza-Tsipras if you prefer) is bleeding out of party activists, youth and the movement people. The heroic symbol, Manolis Glezos, is now running with LAE (Popular Unity), while the odious Bolaris, one of the people behind the infamous witch-hunt of innocent women in 2012 (detailed in the must-see documentary, Ruins) is standing for election with post-Syriza in Thessaloniki. That prompted more resignations.
Who is leaving?
Energetic and creative people who created Syriza’s success.
Where are they going?
We can only hope for a revitalization of the movements in the next months, but the shock and awe of this defeat has so far brought demoralization and further demobilization.
Mitralias is also right that for now Left Platform/LAE is an old-style “camp” party and the leadership of Lafazanis is not going to inspire a very big chunk of votes. You all know how partisan I am for Zoe Konstantopoulou, who remains an independent but tops the LAE candidate list in Athens. I believe the way the oligarch media, the establishment parties, and now post-Syriza have turned her into the most demonized person in Greece will eventually redound to her credit. But that only might be, if she eventually becomes the leader of the anti-memorandmu front. And given enough time for Greeks to get over their hangups about amazon women who are smarter than everyone else in the room (the memory of her being right and loud at all the decisive points will help). She’s not the leader, however, and the results on 9/20 would be little different with her or anyone else leading the charge. The total capitulation following the awesome public arousal brought about by the referendum have poisoned the leftist well.
The voters are disgusted and from this debacle most will learn only the old if not entirely true lesson that politicians are all the same shit. A low turnout is likely, and the right will be strengthened, though post-Syriza is still going to come out first party, thanks to Greek memories being slightly longer than, say, Americans’. It’s ND that still disgusts the majority.
Meanwhile Tsipras with his coalition talk has effectively endorsed PASOK as an alternative for potential ND voters! When the post-Syriza leadership keep quiet on the Third Memorandum and say now is the time to go after oligarchs and corruption, I don’t disbelieve them; I’m certain most of them were also honest in January when they were going to tear up the memoranda and persuade the EU to cut Greece a break with their sweet deliberative reason! This fantasy shit ain’t going to fly for long. Mitralias is also right in saying that the door is being opened wide for Golden Dawn (or a less obviously Nazi successor party). Again, not this round, but the financial brick wall looms and the IMF itself has said it.
What happens after the next insolvency, at the next election?
What should we expect from the new constellation of power as elections loom? Is a break with the politics of deflation and neoliberalism still possible?
What does this mean for the rest of the EU, and for the struggles beyond?
Nicholas Levis is a Greek-American author, editor and translator. A history scholar who has been active in the Greece Solidarity Movement (AKNY) for years.