The limits of what can be expected from the SYRIZA government
by Wayne Hall, Vineyard of the Saker Syriza: Voting to join a realm of shared, sustainable prosperity by Mario Recap: In 1971 Bretton Woods failed. The United States implemented a new strategy: Disregard its twin deficits and act as a gargantuan vacuum cleaner that sucked in the trade surpluses of Germany, Japan and later China, attracting into Wall Street between $3 to $5 billion net on each working day. Forcing productivity and zero real wage rises created a further daily 5$ billion domestically for corporations. All this money, in Wall Street banks, created new money with financialisation. By 2007 for every one dollar issued by the Fed 50 dollars of this bank private money (mainly CDOs) were circulating. It took a small correction in the housing market to collapse this bubble and we write 2008. The CDOs became worthless and to save the criminal banks, governments printed trillions of public money. Debt was transferred to the tax payer. The banking system was not reformed, to the contrary, it kept the freedom to speculate, to short and manipulate the world economy. Greece: A common currency, like the Euro, requires monetary and fiscal coordination. As long as debt, taxes and government expenditure stays national, the weakest members of this monetary union have to run deficits and borrow. A country which creates surplus (like Germany) needs to invest this surplus in the weaker members, to create employment and development, to maintain their health and their demand for German products. It was never done. Borrowing was easy and rampant until 2008. Enter 2008: The European banking system (mainly Germany and France) holds debt from Spain, Italy, Greece and others. Germany, mainly, could have searched for a sustainable debt relief and repayment, taking into account the debtors ability, instead it instructed austerity and the granting of new and expensive loans to repay ultimately the German banks. Enter 2015: Expensive $240 billion loans did nothing to help Greece. 25% unemployment (50% unemployed youths), halving of pensions, failing medical and social assistance and being treated as a 2nd class European is the result of the mantra “that debt is a contract and contracts must be honoured” (Lagarde). The political class failed and Greece could have gone to ‘Golden Dawn’, the fascists, but it did not, as others in Europe do by taking refuge in nationalistic and xenophobe movements, instead it voted in a modern socialist alternative, based on democracy and solidarity. Enter Syriza: The Thessaloniki declaration demands: 1. Confronting the humanitarian crisis 2. Restarting the economy and promoting tax justice 3. Regaining employment 4. Transforming the political system to deepen democracy On (4) the immediate programme is: Regional organization of the state. Enhancement of transparency, of the economic autonomy and the effective operation of municipalities and regions. We empower the institutions of direct democracy and introduce new ones. Empowerment of citizens’ democratic participation. Introduction of new institutions, such as people’s legislative initiative, people’s veto and people’s initiative to call a referendum. Empowerment of the Parliament, curtailment of parliamentary immunity, and repeal of the peculiar legal regime of MPs’ non-prosecution. Regulation of the radio/television landscape by observing all legal preconditions and adhering to strict financial, tax, and social-security criteria. Re-establishment of ERT (Public Radio and Television) on a zero basis. More details on the program me [below]: The limits of what can be expected from the SYRIZA government The above analysis of the politics of SYRIZA and its government does not say anything that is untrue, but it leaves out of account a number of points that are relevant in estimating the political potential of the new Greek government. For a start, SYRIZA does not touch on any taboo “conspiracy theory” issues, such as 911 and/or the militarization of climate. They have systematically and resolutely refused to engage any of them. They line up with the side of the climate debate that attributes all anomalous “natural” phenomena to “global warming” (of course the other side of that debate is also manipulated). On Ukraine and Russia there are also limitations to what they can say or do. The senior member of SYRIZA most committed to policies not hostile to Russia, Nadia Valavani, who was foreign policy spokesperson before the election, has now been assigned to economic issues. Giulietto Chiesa, the journalist and former Europarliamentarian who, I would say, has a “Vineyard of Saker” political orientation http://main.cse-initiative.eu/?p=242 , tried to work with SYRIZA in Greece and its equivalent in Italy but has been, and is, treated like a persona non grata by them. I don’t think there is anything personal about this. It is a reflection of political differences. SYRIZA has continued the traditional Greek “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” orientation towards the Kurds, which in the new post-ISIS geopolitical environment involves a convenient alignment with American and international policies of border changes at the expense of Turkey. Greek and Turkish geopolitical interest are arguably converging, with the two countries having more potential common interests than diverging interests. Of course this is a complex issue but categories of “left wing” and “right wing”, while not entirely irrelevant, also probably do not have as much importance as is attributed to them by SYRIZA. On the subject of “empowerment of citizens’ participation”, SYRIZA’s declared politics deserve more rigorous thought than they are getting. “Citizens’ participation” in a context of corporate mass media control is no guarantee of politics that are in the objective interests of citizens. It can be a Trojan horse facilitating imposition of policies by foreign-controlled NGOs. Possible first steps towards dealing with this problem have been put forward and discussed to a very limited extent https://epamaegina.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/independent-citizens-assembly/ but the discussion has not acquired any traction within SYRIZA. SYRIZA’s policies in this area are as vague as they are in other parliamentary parties.