First, there was the credit crunch, and governments around the world stepped in to bail out the banks. The sequel to that debacle is the sovereign debt crisis, which has hit the eurozone hard. The hour has come to pay the piper, and ordinary citizens across Europe are growing to realize that socialism for the wealthy means punching a few new holes in their already-tightened belts.
Building on his work as a leading member of the renowned Research on Money and Finance group, Costas Lapavitsas argues that European austerity is counterproductive. Cutbacks in public spending will mean a longer, deeper recession, worsen the burden of debt, further imperil banks, and may soon spell the end of monetary union itself.
Crisis in the Eurozone charts a cautious path between political economy and radical economics to envisage a restructuring reliant on the forces of organized labour and civil society. The clear-headed rationalism at the heart of this book conveys a controversial message, unwelcome in many quarters but soon to be echoed across the continent: impoverished states have to quit the euro and cut their losses or worse hardship will ensue.
As Greek negotiations continue, we publish a statement by Stathis Kouvelakis, member of Syriza’s central committee, outlining the demands of Syriza's Left Platform, which was narrowly out-voted in Sunday's Central Committee meeting. The Left Platform is calling for a break in the negotiations, a default on further debt repayments, and the adoption of an alternative plan in line with Syriza's pre-election pledges.
Syriza’s Central Committee session this weekend: 44% in favour of the text of the Left Platform calling for a rupture in the negotiations and for an alternative plan
Greece is "on the final stretch to a deal" with its lenders, or so Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras announced this afternoon. Although European Commission insiders have since begged to differ, we should wonder whether Greece is heading toward the "honorable compromise" the Syriza government has been espousing of late. But for Stathis Kouvelakis, there is no such thing as an "honorable compromise" here—only capitulation. In the article we re-publish from the Jacobin below, Kouvelakis outlines the way the notion of compromise represents an abandonment of the agenda on which Syriza was elected, and a veil for defeat.
"If one side, obviously the stronger, is not offering the slightest concession, then what is involved cannot be called a compromise. The term becomes just a figleaf to provide cover for the pursuit of total subjection."
Translated by Wayne Hall.
Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP / Getty Images
Ahead of Alexis Tsipras’ meeting with Angela Merkel tonight on the sidelines of the EU summit in Riga, we share an interview given on Monday by Costas Lapavitsas, Syriza MP and co-author of Against the Troika, in which Lapavitsas urges a Greek exit from the Euro. "If one finds himself in a trap is it a disaster to try and get out of it? Is it better to wait until death comes?"
See the interview, with English interpretation after 40 minutes, here. A summary of the interview, by ThePressProject, is below.