Greek Democracy – What Price ?


In an article on the ‪#‎BBC‬ website entitled ”Greek elections : Will anti-austerity party Syriza win?” I came across this :

”Greece has borrowed nearly €240bn (£185bn; $278bn) from the EU and IMF under a debt restructuring (bailout) plan. Its next govenrment still has to negotiate a final bailout tranch of €7.2bn.
After six years of deep recession and austerity measures, the improvement in Greece is far from being reflected in the real economy.
Unemployment is still soaring at 25.5%, especially among 25-35 year olds where it hits just under 50%, and recent emergency taxes, mainly on property, have further squeezed the middle class”

It’s that phrase ”the improvement in Greece” that caught my attention. What sort of improvement could there possibly be that ”is far from being reflected in the real economy” ? By now one is used to sloppy grammar and incoherent or non-existent analysis from the sadly dumbed-down Beeb, but does not this mediaspeak also reflect the insane economic priorities Western populations are now expected to embrace ? The imposition of ”austerity” in order to pay never-ending debt to the global financial elite is IN ITSELF the ”improvement”, austerity being presented as a necessary evil, as unavoidable as the weather.

‪#‎Syriza‬‘s foreign policy head Costas Isychos said at a rally in Athens the other day :“What happens in Greece on Sunday will follow in Spain in a few weeks and in Ireland in a few months and perhaps in the rest of the European periphery and the European centre.This is a nightmare for the people who support austerity… Social justice, this is what we are going to struggle for.”

This may be wildly over-optimistic, but I for one hope that a massive anti-austerity vote in all the upcoming European elections will at least raise the pitiful level of awareness and debate in the UK on this crucial issue.


‘Syriza is the Left’s best chance at success in a generation. But for socialists, the hard part starts after election day’.  Informative interview with  Stathis Kouvelakis, who  teaches political theory at King’s College London and serves on the central committee of Syriza.


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