Syriza is at a crossroads: left turn or right turn?

The political turbulence in Greece continues on, unabated. And the media is all abuzz with the stories of secret meetings, underhand dealings and mysterious telephone conversations with shady financiers. To spice things up, we are told about secret plans being hatched that involved hacking into government computer systems.

At first, Varoufakis was crucified because we all thought that he had no Plan B. Then he was crucified because he had a Plan B. Then he is called a traitor because we are told that his plan would have taken the country back to the drachma, a Grexit. And so on and so on. Anything to make the headlines sizzle, but in reality, nothing really that special. Because, at the very end, the plan was never implemented. So it was all for nothing.

Well, maybe not quite nothing. While the headlines have briefly captured the attention of a lot of people, many political issues have yet to be really and truly addressed. Let us just pause a little and take an objective look at how things stand in Greece at the moment.

Syriza and its leader, Alexis Tsipras are at a crossroads, for themselves and their country. Tsipras has been criticized for the decisions that he took after the recent referendum. The party is in a turmoil and the future of the country looks bleak. However, in the first really good showing of how a leader should act when under pressure, he has surprised many of his critics today.

Responding to a question from the Pasok leader, Fofi Gennimata, during prime minister’s question time, Tsipras confirmed that he had personally given the go-ahead to form a working group, saying that he would have been naive and irresponsible not to have had an emergency contingency plan, “We didn’t design or have a plan to pull the country out of the euro, but we did have emergency plans…If our partners and lenders had prepared a Grexit plan, shouldn’t we as a government have prepared our defense?”

Tsipras went on to defend his former finance minister, “Mr. Varoufakis might have made mistakes,… You can blame him as much as you want for his political plan, his statements, for his taste in shirts, for vacations in Aegina, but you cannot accuse him of stealing the money of Greek people or having a covert plan to take Greece to the precipice.”

Tsipras said that he fully backed his former finance minister and that he had instructed Varoufakis to draw up the emergency contingency plans to defend against possible moves to push Greece out of the eurozone but that ‘grexit’ had never been the government’s intention.

“As for plans to exit the euro, we never had them and never worked on them. Obviously, we had a plan for managing an emergency. You would have to hold us accountable if we didn’t. You’d best ask those that were preparing a Grexit….Have you heard nothing about the European Commission’s 1,000-page Plan B? It was first heard of in 2012 and it is constantly updated…Ask the German government. Their plan is still on the table,” Tsipras added. “Shouldn’t we, as a government, have planned our defences against a possible grexit? It was our obligation.”

Tsipras pointed out that if his secret plan was to exit the euro, he would have used the 62 pct majority in the referendum as a mandate to carry it out. The former finance minister’s plan for an electronic payments system could be useful, whether in the euro or with a national currency, he added.

So now we know the truth. This is exactly what Varoufakis has been telling us.

Now, I am not a politics scholar and I know even less about the Greek political scene.

However, I do believe that the past 6 months events in Greece have been a critical turning point in the affairs of the European Union and the Eurozone. The future direction and maybe even the existence of these institutions has become intricately bound up in the economic crisis that has enveloped Greece. All efforts made to date, to either sort out or play down the Greek crisis, have failed. This has been a severe disappointment for the EU politicians & Euro-technocrats. They have been unable to make the Greece problem fade away into obscurity. And, in the course of this process, the inherent weaknesses in the EU & Eurozone structures have been blatantly exposed. So what does all of this mean?

It seems to me that how things play out in Greece, will have profound effects on the rest of the EU as well. And that is what makes the Greek issue so important. In the short term, and barring a popular uprising or revolution (always possible but unlikely, it now seems), the focus in Greece is going to be on the political scene and the democratic process.

In addition, with the increasing popularity of the “Leftist” political parties that is occurring in Europe, the “Right” feels more threatened than ever before. And rightly so, since things have not turned out as wonderful as we had been promised under their stewardship. So, naturally, there is bound to be a push-back. And a big one at that! How will the “old guard” respond?

The average person in the street has seen that, with Greece as the most recent example, mobilising all of the tools of democracy still has the potential to change things. But, as we have experienced in Greece, things are never that easy, nor that simple.Look what happened in Round 1. The biggest weapons and the dirtiest of tactics were used. This is not a fight that the neo-liberals are going to give up on so easily. So it is going to be tough and messy and this is what we have to be prepared for. As the representatives of the people, the various political parties will have to become sharper, more focused and “on the ball”.

Now we are waiting to see how the political landscape will be re-shaped in Greece, post July. The political party in power in Greece is at a crossroads. Alexis Tsipras must surely be asking of Syriza, “Quo vadis”….“Where are you going?”

One point of view to help answer this question, appeared in an article on the following blog, failedevolution.blogspot.gr:

Greece: Operation “Mutation of the Left” has started!”

by system failure

It was only two months ago, when Paul Mason made a revelation about the plans of the European financial dictatorship (EFD), concerning SYRIZA in Greece. Through his article, “Why Greece’s Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal“, confirmed what lies in the back of the minds of the European plutocracy’s puppets:

In the script according to the eurozone, the expected ending is: Syriza splits; finance minister Varoufakis makes good his pledge not to sign a surrender and resigns. A government of the centre-left forms, with Alexis Tsipras now allied to the centrist Potami party and with tacit support from a liberal wing of the New Democracy party. Debt relief happens, but on the terms dictated by the lenders, and Syriza survives to complete its mutation into a centre-left social democratic party.

The plan has already described by this blog in the article The global financial mafia promotes scenario 2 for Greece and the danger for the mutation of SYRIZA into a centre-left social democratic party, even before taking the power, in the article A new attempt to “domesticate” the Left in Greece and earlier in the article A “retouch” operation for the Left .

After recent developments, it seems that everything is progressing according to the schedule so far: Varoufakis was forced to resign from his position and Tsipras retreated under the extreme pressure imposed through direct blackmail by the EFD puppets.

The next step of the plan, will be the removal of SYRIZA’s radical part, known as “Left Platform”. It is the part of SYRIZA which actually gives the Leftist identity to the party. Indeed, SYRIZA now suffers from decomposition trends that came on surface after Tsipras’ capitulation with EFD, and the new catastrophic measures that the Greek parliament was called to vote, in order to avoid the sudden death through the ECB brutal economic strangling.

It is characteristic that the Left Platform MP’s rejected the new measures (32 voted clearly “no”), and the new catastrophic memorandum was passed in the Greek parliament with the votes of Independent Greeks (SYRIZA’s partner in the coalition government) and the neoliberal parties Nea Dimokratia, Potami and PASOK!

Tsipras was forced to remove from the government some top executives like Panagiotis Lafazanis and Dimitris Stratoulis. Lafazanis is considered one of the “leaders” of the Left Platform and took significant initiatives, from the start, towards the approach with Russia. Zoi Konstantopoulou is considered another member of the Left Platform. Konstantopoulou, currently Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, took significant initiatives towards the public debt audit, an investigation about the conditions under which previous governments signed memorandums with the creditors, and an investigation about major scandals concerning previous governments (i.e. Siemens scandal).

It is not accidental that the oligarchs in Greece declared a separate war on Konstantopoulou, trying to downgrade her role and image through ridiculous stories by the mainstream media. Konstantopoulou has recently brought hard criticism on Tsipras’ retreat which led to the new catastrophic memorandum for Greece.

Obviously, the European bureaufascists studied SYRIZA’s internal political “geography” very carefully, and one of the reasons that they insisted on catastrophic measures, fully aligned with the German leadership, was to remove the “annoying barrier” of the Left Platform, according to the plan.

Tsipras was forced to reshuffle his government, and everyone now in Greece speaks about a temporary scheme towards new national elections in September-October. Then, if Tsipras chooses to exclude the Left Platform MPs from the elections, bureaufascists will be very close to finish successfully the operation “mutation of the Left”. It will be probably the fastest mutation process for a whole political ideology in history, a total defeat for the Left not only in Greece, but also in Europe.

However, the speed and the violence of this attempt of mutation, shows that the EFD paid an extremely high cost which may lead to its fall. Indeed, Tsipras administration forced EFD to show its real face to the European people and the public opinion has changed towards the support of Greece. Additionally, the strong antitheses emerged inside eurozone, which were hidden under the supposed solid France-German axis. Now that the European citizens realized that Europe became a brutal financial dictatorship, the next crucial phase of the war will be also the elections in Spain and Portugal. Greece can’t change Europe alone.

In any case, more people now understand what the mutation of the Left would mean. It would mean that the Left would be absorbed progressively by the dominant neoliberal ideology, exactly as it happened with the Social-democrats in Greece and Europe. It would mean a crucial defeat for the European people in the ongoing class warfare. It would mean the establishment of the new Feudalism.”

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About Peter Smith

A "foot-soldier" in the wider Post Capitalism Movement. First task - keep spreading the words of change, hope & inspiration.
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