Syriza wow Labour delegates at Yorkshire conference

IMAG0341Over 50 Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party delegates packed into Saturday’s  fringe meeting in Leeds to hear from the front line in what has been labelled ‘A Very European Coup‘. Professor Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law at Birkbeck College in London told a packed audience that there was a parallel between Chris Mullin’s classic story A Very British Coup and recent developments in Greece.

The capitalist establishment in Europe have closed ranks to protect their own interests in spite of Syriza winning a democratic majority and now commanding 80% public support in the opinion polls. Greece could now be forced into bankruptcy for failing to pay €1.8bn which is now due. There is still hope that the 4 month extension to the Eurozone loan deal will go ahead although the cost could be very damaging. Continue reading

The money exists for investment in Greece

grexitThe fraught negotiations between the new Greek government and representatives of the EU institutions are likely to be prolonged. They have centred to date on Syriza’s efforts to find room to alleviate some of the worst effects of austerity and address what is called the ‘humanitarian crisis’.

This is entirely justifiable given the depth of the fall in living standards with widespread malnutrition in Greece, a health crisis, hundreds of thousands of homes cut off from electricity supply and other ills.
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Five questions from Costas Lapavitsas to Syriza’s leadership on their Euroland deal

Syriza logoThis is a translation of a blog by Costas Lapavitsas who was Professor of Economics at London’s SOAS until he was elected as a Syriza MP this year. He is known as a Eurosceptic critic of the more Europhile stance of the Syriza leadership, though his criticisms are more reserved than those of Syriza’s 92-old resistance veteran Manolis Glezos, and we reproduce it here to help understanding of the debates now taking place within Syriza.

The agreement of the Eurogroup is not completed, partly because (at the time of writing) we do not know yet what ‘reforms’ will be proposed by the Greek government today (Monday, February 23) and which of them will be accepted. But those of us who have been elected on the basis of SYRIZA program and regard the Thessaloniki programme as our commitment to the Greek people have deep concerns and we must express them. Continue reading

The costs and benefits of Grexit

grexitby Emiliano Brancaccio and Gennaro Zezza – translated from Italian by Tom Gill

You cannot say that between 2010 and 2014, Greece has not “done their homework” assigned by the Troika. The tax burden has grown by five percentage points of GDP, public spending has fallen by a quarter and wages have fallen by twenty percentage points. The European Commission has always maintained that these policies would not have depressed the economy and would have boosted competitiveness. But its Greek GDP forecasts have been repeatedly been wide of the mark: the collapse of production in Greece showed a gap compared with the estimates of Brussels that sometimes exceeded the embarrassing figure of seven percent of GDP. Continue reading