Stathis Kouvelakis and Miri Davidson report that early this morning, 25 SYRIZA MPs left the parliamentary group of the party to create a new group under the name of “Popular Unity.” Most of these MPs are affiliated to the Left Platform, but some others also joined. They are now the third largest party in the Greek Parliament, ahead of Golden Dawn, the neonazi party. This means that in the next few days their leader, Panagiotis Lafazanis, will get a mandate to constitute a government.
European politics has been plunged into a volatile new era following a historic victory in Greece’s general election by far-left radicals committed to ending years of austerity.
More than five years into the euro crisis that started in Greece in October 2009 and raised questions about the single currency’s survival, Greek voters roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe which reduced the country to penury.
The Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, is favored to win parliamentary elections on January 25, giving it a strong chance to form a new government that could confront the catastrophic austerity agenda that has plunged Greece into severe economic and social crisis. Lee Sustar answers your questions about the rise of SYRIZA and what a victory for it on January 25 would mean.
Alexis Tsipras, the person who looks destined to be the next Greek prime minister, speaks about history and prospects.
“While the mainstream parties led people on — rather brazenly, I might add — we were vehement that austerity would have severe negative consequences and lead to recession; these policies simply weren’t sustainable. We supported grassroots initiatives, including major demonstrations and the social solidarity movement. Lastly, our political emphasis has been on uniting the Left. This was critical — and it really resonated with people.”
Read the interview: A Historic Opportunity | Jacobin.