Monday, January 26, 2015

Syriza wins Greek Elections

It seems that Syriza has won government in Greece and will form a coalition with the right-wing (!) “Independent Greeks” party:
Ben Chu, “Greece elections: Who are Syriza and what effect will their new government have on Europe?,” Independent, Monday 26 January 2015.
The million dollar question is: will they eventually leave the Eurozone and what effect will that have on other EU nations where there are political parties gaining popularity that want to leave the EU too?

Bill Mitchell has some sobering analysis here, and concludes that Syriza’s stated intention of staying within the EU is by no means radical and that its policy platform is deeply inconsistent.


  1. This is a complicated affair, and I would not want to make predictions about the eventual result.

    If Syriza has given up Grexit as a bargaining chip (for the moment), they still have an ace in the hole: Golden Dawn.

    Varoufakis and perhaps others have clearly stated that if Zyriza cannot right the ship, GD will have its turn at the helm soon enough. IG may serve as a visible reminder of this.

    There is also the matter of the upcoming December Spanish elections. Podemos is positioned to similarly upturn the apple-cart. The troika may be inclined to take a hard line with Greece in order not to spread the contagion. Alternatively, this may prompt a change of course to avoid an even greater Crisis.

    Indeed, Podemos may have gained credibility after the Syriza victory.

    It's very hard to see a smooth course forwards for the EU.

    We live in interesting times.

    Holy Smoke!
    Varoufakis has been named Greek finance minister!
    " In pre-election interviews he vowed to destroy Greek oligarchs, end what he called the humanitarian crisis in Greece and renegotiate the country’s debt mountain.

    “We are going to destroy the basis upon which they have built for decade after decade a system, a network that viciously sucks the energy and the economic power from everybody else in society,”


  2. LK,
    I believe that Mitchell (and others who are cheering for an immediate withdraw of Greece from the Eurozone) are badly misreading Greek and European politics. I also favor a Greek exit, but my wishes are not oblivious to the political situation there. To start with, there is a fact that Mitchell and others forget: the Greek people does NOT want to leave the Euro. So Syriza cannot promise to do so, nor do it in their first day in office! Syriza promised to end austerity, and they're keeping up with that promise.
    And if you actually think about ways to exit the euro (which I repeat: I do support leaving the eurozone), undoubtedly the best alternative (keeping in mind that the Greek people wants to stay in) is to be KICKED OUT by the Troika (on paper there's nothing written, but there is a way through ECB's assistance to Greek banks). It that way, Syriza does not have to assume the responsibility and the political costs that a Grexit would entail.
    And in order to be kicked out, it has to do EXACTLY WHAT IT IS DOING, and it has to say EXACTLY WHAT IT IS SAYING. It has to say it has no intention of leaving or defaulting, but it has no intention to defraud its constituents and keep up with austerity. It has to move forward unilaterally with fiscal stimulus (and it is doing so), and it has to force the Troika to stop it, and then leave. And if the Troika accepts these measures, fine, I will not oppose.
    Seriously, one can easily fall into dogmatism if he/she pushes for a measure without caring or noticing the political situation or the circumstances surrounding its implementation.