[Marxism] Trapped by its own success?

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 11:23:33 MDT 2015

The astute Telegraph financial columnist, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who has closely followed the unfolding crisis in Greece, says the Syriza leadership never expected to win the referendum and is trapped by its own success. It can no longer accede to the punishing demands for greater austerity by the German-led eurozone and the IMF nor does it want to leave the currency union, an impossible contradiction which has revealed itself in the hesitant and confusing political direction of the Tsipras government in its first five months in office. 

“Mr Tsipras had already made the decision to acquiesce to austerity demands, recognizing that Syriza had failed to bring about a debtors’ cartel of southern EMU states and had seriously misjudged the mood across the eurozone”, E-P writes. A Yes vote which would have mandated that Syriza hand over or share power with a new government to the right prepared to promptly surrender to the creditors’ demands. 

Now Syriza’s leadership must bear the full responsibility of capitulating against the will of the Greek masses who defiantly rejected that course on Sunday, or must effectively leave the eurozone, E-P reports that the government’s inner cabinet explored in detail and again retreated from the latter option last week prior to the unexpected referendum result. 

If the Syriza government is finally left with no choice but to reject the ever-escalating austerity demands of the eurozone powers, the only remaining question is whether it will be a chaotic process or one managed in concert with the eurozone powers. Despite the Telegraph columnist’s overwrought contention that that “Syriza has been in utter disarray for 36 hours…events are now spinning out of control…Greece is in turmoil, so is Europe”, Greece’s rupture with the eurozone is not a foregone conclusion. 

The US, Germany, and their more important allies are nervous and uncertain about the potential social, economic, and geopolitical consequences of a Greek exit. German banks and exporters, in particular, have benefited hugely from the creation of the eurozone, Greece is an important strategic asset for US and NATO military planners, and there are legal impediments to Greece’s formal expulsion from the eurozone. Not least, the inspiring Greek challenge to austerity may provide a powerful stimulus to similar mass movements in Spain, Italy, France, and the other European countries - a less reported concern of the eurozone governments. 


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