Greece: 41% of Syriza’s Central Committee reject the Eurogroup agreement – A success for the Left Platform

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 Greece: brilliant success of Syriza’s Left Platform at the Central Committee session this week-end!

The amendment (see full text below) submitted by the Left Platform rejecting the Eurogroup agreement and the “list of reforms” submitted by the government got 41% of the vote, with 55% against and 4% abstaining or voting blank (the votes were: 68 in favour, 92 against, 6 abstentions/blank votes). The Left Platform has now significantly extended its influence, incorporating in the strategic votes the maoists of KOE and the group around the (now former) head of the economic department of the party John Milios.

All the media report that the party is now clearly split on the line followed so far by the government and that the central committe “issued a warning to the government”, to quote the article of the main pro-system newspaper To Vima.

Along the same lines, the new secretary of the party, Tassos Koronakis, was elected by a very narrow majority (102 out of 199), with the candidate of the Left Platform, Alekos Kalyvis, getting 64 votes, an independant candidate 1 vote, and with 32 CC members abstaining.

In the vote for the new 11 members-large political secretariat, the list of the majority bloc got 110 votes (6 seats), the Left Platform 63 (4 seats), the maoists (KOE) 21 (1 seat), an Independant list 2 votes (0 seat), + 3 abstentions.

The conclusion is quite simple: the crucial debate about the future strategy is now fully open and the party Left is in a very strong position to put forward its strategy in favour of an alternative approach and a “plan B”.

Stathis Kouvelakis

 The full text of the Left Platform’s amendment

"“We express our disagreement with the agreement and the list of reforms agreed with the Eurogroup.

Both texts represent an undesirable compromise for our country and move in directions and orientations are within, which, in their essential points, move away or are in plain contrast with the programmatic commitments of SYRIZA.

In the immediate future, SYRIZA, despite the agreements of the Eurogroup, should take the initiative of implementing steadily and as a matter of priority its commitments and the content of its programmatic governmental statement.

To go down that road, we have to rely on workers’ and popular struggles, to contribute to their revitalization, and to the continuous expansion of popular support in order to resist to any form of blackmail and promote the perspective of an alternative plan promoting the full realization of our radical objectives.

The main conclusion of the latest developments is the necessity, which is of decisive importance for the course we will follow, that decisions should be taken following a discussion in the leading party instances, which have, jointly with the party and the party branches as a whole, to upgrade their function and play a leading role in the new progressive course of our country”.


 A small comment regarding SYRIZA’s central committee

A small comment regarding SYRIZA’s central committee (without claiming to have any special knowledge other that what one can read in the press).

- The degreee of condemnation of the dangerous turn of the leading group is indeed impressive. It shows that within the SYRIZA as a party and in general among left-wing militants, people from the movement etc there is indeed a feeling of rejection of the agreement and strong opposition to a new loan agreement (which is what the government will negotiate in the next months and which means austerity, even ’with a human face).

- At the same time, the leading group still enjoys an impressive degree of positive poll ratings as the result of a combination of reduced expectations from the part of the popular strata and the total total disarray of the pro-austerity opposition.

- The decision process of the SYRIZA-led government is not based upon the actual party process, but on the workings of the inner circle around Tsipras, Flabouraris, Pappas, Dragasakis (the true leadership). So this division of the organized party willl not automatically translate into a change of course regarding the negotiation of the new loan agreement.

- Moreover, the main current of opposition in SYRIZA, namely the Left-current segment of the Left platform has a long tradition of party loyalty, something evident in Lafazanis’ long-time reluctance to challenge party unity. This was evident in the distance between the most vocal opponents of the course of the governemnt (such as Statis Kouvelakis and Dimitris Belantis) and most cadres of Left Current, in terms of public discourse. Even the choice of the Platform’s proposal for the position of general secretary, Alekos Kalyvis, is symbolic: a ex-union bureaucrat, with a long history of simply being the colourless bureaucrat representative of Synaspismos in the leadership of the Trade union confederation.

- However, on the more positive side indeed it is important that the debate has opened. And the four months of the ’negotiation’ can indeed be put to good use if they are a preparation for the necessary rupture and break with the embedded neoliberalism of the Eurozone. But this goes far beyond simply articulating disagreements. Whan is needed is a strategy - and technique - of rupture. This is the challenge facing all currents of the Left that insist on the possibility of a radical alternative.

Panagiotis Sotiris (Antarsya)

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