Stathis Kouvelakis, Syriza central committee member and Verso author, spoke to Zeinab Badawi yesterday on HARDtalk. Re-posted from BBC World News (watch the full interview here).
Greece and its creditors have started negotiating a third rescue package worth up to eighty-six billion Euros but the prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a rebellion from the hard left in his party, Syriza, who accuse him of going back on his promise to reject austerity. However, it's not just economics that's at the heart of the disagreements; it is a struggle for what kind of country Greece wants to be in the 21st century. Zeinab Badawi talks to Stathis Kouvelakis - a Syriza central committee member - so who's winning the argument in Greece?
The euro will fail long before the financial markets and Germany allow for its progressive reform. If we are to create a new euro, we need to accept that the EU as it stands "is actually a huge system of political larceny", writes Frédéric Lordon for Le Monde Diplomatique.
In a talk in Athens on Friday, Costas Lapavitsas, Syriza MP and Professor of Economics at SOAS, appealed to Syriza and the Greek people to recognise the impossibility of achieving change from within the Eurozone. The EMU, he argued, is not a moral or ideological union but "an institutional mechanism ... a hierarchical body that works in the interests of big business and of a few countries within it." He continued:
That's what the left has failed to recognize in Europe and in Greece. The mechanisms of the European monetary union are a reified class practice. That's what they are. You can't change them because you've won a vote in Greece. It's impossible to do. You can't change them because you'll get Podemos in Spain. It's not possible to do. Either you break the whole thing or you accept it as it is.
Originally published on Jacobin, the following interview between Sebastian Budgen and Stathis Kouvelakis provides a definitive account of what has transpired over the last few weeks in Greece, and of what’s next for Syriza and the European left. Sebastian Budgen is a Verso editor and serves on the editorial board of Historical Materialism. Stathis Kouvelakis teaches political theory at King’s College London and serves on the central committee of Syriza.