Monday, July 06, 2015

Greece: Historic Victory Against Imposed Austerity

Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is addressing the nation:

Today, he says, Greece has proved that democracy cannot be blackmailed; Greeks have made a brave choice, and one which will change the debate in Europe.

I understand that voters have not given me a mandate against Europe, but a mandate for a sustainable solution.

And he warns that there are no easy solutions -- but a fair solution can be found, if both sides want it.

Nikos Papastergiadis, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne
A profound recognition has been given now, not just by economists, but by the people of Greece, that the economic policies pushed by the troika are counter-productive.
The government can now walk into negotiations in a strengthened position. They can honour their promises. They have no intention to leave the eurozone, let alone the EU, but can focus on a debt restructure, tackling tax evasion and modernising the state.
I expect some sort of financial resolution in the next 24-48 hours, because a move back to the drachma would be catastrophic.
When politicians in Europe say things like ‘It’s not a problem for us there is no risk of economic contagion,’ that is a profoundly immoral comment given there’s a real risk Europeans will die this winter as a result of their policies. Their sense of solidarity with the union is profoundly blinkered. The risk is not just economic contagion, it’s political contagion. They don’t want Syriza to be the example for other European governments. They wanted Greece to be humbled and crippled by these austerity measures. This divide and conquer attitude means there will be long-term political consequences.
I am so proud of the courage demonstrated by Greeks who have stood up in the face of their own oligarchs, who launched a smear campaign against the government, and said ‘enough is enough’.

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