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Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone

A radical anti-capitalist alternative to Eurozone austerity
On the 25th January 2015 the Greek people voted in an election of historic importance—not just for Greece but potentially all of Europe. The radical party Syriza was elected and austerity and the neoliberal agenda is being challenged. Suddenly it seems as if there is an alternative. But what?

The Eurozone is in a deep and prolonged crisis. It is now clear that monetary union is a historic failure, beyond repair—and certainly not in the interests of Europe’s working people.

Building on the economic analysis of two of Europe’s leading thinkers, Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas (a candidate standing for election on Syriza’s list), Against the Troika is the first book to propose a strategic left-wing plan for how peripheral countries could exit the euro. With a change in government in Greece, and looming political transformations in countries such as Spain, this major intervention lays out a radical, anti-capitalist programme at a critical juncture for Europe. The final three chapters offer a detailed postmortem of the Greek catastrophe, explain what can be learned from it—and provide a possible alternative.

Against the Troika is a practical blueprint for real change in a continent wracked by crisis and austerity.

Reviews

  • “Lapavitsas is fascinating and thoughtful.”
  • “Costas Lapavitsas is part of the cadre of academics-turned-politicians forging Syriza’s economic thinking.”
  • “Highly readable … A fresh and imaginative look at the crisis, it contributes greatly to the relevant debate, and is especially useful in detailing the theoretical foundations of economic programmes advocated by the radical Left parties that have begun to gain strength across Europe, and in particular Syriza.”
  • “This little book takes up the question of what a left government can do in the face of powerful elites who have savaged the country’s infrastructure in the failed pursuit of budget surpluses. Crucially it charts a path for those who want a clearer view of the way out of the euro.”
  • “Demonstrate[s] with clarity that the mercantilist and deflationary policies pursued by Germany since the beginning of EMU must carry the blame for the great rupture that is currently threatening Europe.”
  • “For those who … still believe Europe can be reformed to deliver social justice, growth and high-welfare societies, the authors do the valuable service of spelling out what that would take: the defeat not only of the mainstream conservative parties but also of their right-wing, nationalist challengers, and the total transformation of European social democracy in the direction of heterodox, fiscally expansionist economic policy, and the triumph of the as yet untested new left parties.”

Blog

  • [Audio]: Frédéric Lordon and Cédric Durand discuss Internationalism and Democracy after the Eurozone Crisis

    On January 30, Frédéric Lordon and Cédric Durand appeared at the NYU Department of Sociology for a conversation on "Internationalism and Democracy after the Eurozone Crisis," moderated by Jonah Birch. 


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  • Lapavitsas: "The left is paying the price for its conservative discourse on the currency union."

    An economics professor at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Costas Lapavitsas (born 1961) visited Barcelona last week to present his latest work, Eurozone Failure, German Policies and a New Path for Greece. In this text he advocates Greece leaving the euro, as an instrument for overcoming the country’s crisis. Critical of Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis and Syriza (he had been an MP for the party before the third deal with the Troika), Lapavitsas is conscious that his positions regarding the EU and the euro are still in the minority among European progressives. Nonetheless, he believes that "the first step for the Left is to say that the currency union has to end."

    Oriol Solé Altimira's interview with Lapavitsas was first published in 
    El Diario. Translated by David Broder. 




    A year ago you were in Madrid for the presentation of the Plan B for Europe. How do you think that this initiative has developed?

    The Madrid discussions were interesting, because a lot of people came and there was a good atmosphere. Nonetheless, they were politically confused, because various ideas were presented on what the Left ought to do about Europe, without any concreteness. People still think that it is possible to change the European Union. One year later, I think that this position has lost supporters. More people have realised that if we want an alternative, a different path or different strategy, we have to take radical steps also with respect to the institutions and the EU.

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  • Abandoning the Euro Could Help Save Europe

    First published in Le Monde. Translated by David Broder.

    No European sovereign, no real budget; no budget, no viable economic policy. As long as Europe does not break out of this dilemma, the Eurozone will remain mired in the vicious circle of stagnation, resentment, and conflicting responsibilities. If a budgetary federalism is out of reach, it is crucial that we can adjust exchange rates in order to give dynamism to growth and employment. And this requires leaving the currency union.

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Other books by Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas Afterword by Alberto Garzón Espinosa Foreword by Oskar Lafontaine Preface by Paul Mason

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