Greece’s SYRIZA Party Splits Ahead of Snap Elections
by Stephen Lendman
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was widely expected to call snap elections - Greece’s fifth general election in six years.
Twenty-nine anti-austerity SYRIZA party members bolted. They’ll challenge Tsipras despite virtually no chance to prevail. They formed a new Popular Unity party headed by former energy minister/vocal Tsipras critic Panagiotis Lafazanis.
They call it a “wide, anti-memorandum (austerity), progressive democratic front that will go to the elections with the agenda to cancel all memoranda,” a statement they issued said.
They accused Tsipras of breaching his anti-austerity campaign pledge. He signed a new austerity memorandum without approval of other SYRIZA members, they explained. They continued saying:
“The snap elections Alexis Tsipras decided, will be held in order to bury the proud ‘no’ of the referendum. To bury the anti-memorandum struggles and anti-memorandum expectations of the people, Greek people are asked to put a noose around their necks and approve a new memorandum.”
“The Left Platform, faithful to the SYRIZA commitments, consistent with the ‘no’ of the Greek people, carries the flag of the struggle to get out of the crisis, for productive reconstruction and progress…”
“The Left Platform will immediately form a wide, anti-memorandum, progressive democratic front that will go to the elections with the agenda to cancel all memoranda.”
“To move toward the write-off of the biggest part of the debt…To cancel austerity in wages, pensions and social spending. To stop the sellout of Greece’s state property. To put the country on a new path of national independence, sovereignty, recovery and a new progressive course.”
Lafazanis said “(a) new power is coming to the fore…(W)e will not fall victim to blackmail. We want to become a great movement that will sweep the bailouts aside.”
“The country cannot take more bailouts. We will either finish off the bailouts, or the bailouts will finish off Greece and the Greek people. The country cannot breathe and stand on its feet unless a big part of the debt is cancelled.”
Popular Unity’s stated objectives are canceling Greece’s three bailouts, writing down or renouncing its odious debt, and leaving Eurozone bondage “if necessary” to regain Greek sovereignty and help it recover and grow.
It remains to be seen how voters react to this message. With snap elections a month away, there’s precious little time to enlist enough support to matter.
Candidate Tsipras made glowing pledges. Straightaway in office he breached them. Are Popular Unity members different? Politicians of all stripes notoriously make promises they systematically compromise or violate if elected.
It’s hard imagining anything in prospect able to end Greece’s long nightmare. Its political class is beholden to Troika monied interests running things.
No party is strong enough to win majority control. SYRIZA will likely retain enough support to govern with one or more coalition partners.
Popular Unity has no chance to change bailout terms or end what Paul Craig Roberts calls Greece’s “foreign occupation.”
Western monied interests intend looting the country, pillaging its crown jewels, keeping it debt entrapped, exploiting its people more than already, destroying its sovereignty, and making it a dystopian Troika controlled colony - a testimony to predatory capitalism’s viciousness no one should tolerate.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.