[Marxism] TRNN, Lascaris on Syriza: "one of the worst political debacles in modern European history"

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sat Jul 11 11:33:56 MDT 2015

Debate Rages in SYRIZA Over Austerity Plan
Sharmini Peries interviews Dimitri Lascaris
The Real News Network, video and transcript, July 11
 . . .
LASCARIS: Well, I think we are witnessing what could fairly be
described as one of the worst political debacles in modern European
 . . .
LASCARIS: ...The other question is even if you believe that Greece is
better off inside the Euro, you disagree with people like Syriza MP
Costas Lapavitsas, one must ask the obvious question, will this deal
actually prevent a Grexit? And anyone who thinks that this deal, which
is going to cause further economic contraction in Greece, further
social inequality, further increase, probably in the debt--certainly
there will be an increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio. Further
unemployment. But somehow magically this is going to prevent a
default. I think they need to have their heads examined. If anything,
this is going to accelerate a default on the other debts that Greece
has. And when that default happens, there will be an end to liquidity
assistance by the European Central Bank, assuming that it ever
restores the liquidity assistance, and that's going to result in a
failure of the Greek banking system and the need to seize the banking
system and issue a parallel currency. So as a matter of fact this
deal, if it passes, will not prevent a Grexit. Whether you think a
Grexit is in the best interest of Greece or not is rather secondary at
this point. It won't prevent a Grexit. We're going to be right back
having this same discussion in a few months' time, maybe perhaps next

So ultimately what we're doing here is we're engaging in precisely the
game that the Greek government so rightly and eloquently condemned
prior to taking power, the game of extend and pretend. That's what
this is. It will not prevent a Grexit. It will simply delegitimize the
government, drive it into the arms of neoliberal parties who have
historically protected the very oligarchy that the Syriza party
purports to want to destroy, and rightly so. And simply destroy any
sense of hope within the Greek populace, and potentially result in a
great deal of social unrest. Effectively Syriza, the leadership, has
caused the economy to experience extreme hardship, has set back the
economy of Greece quite significantly, to an unknown degree, for
nothing. Because they could have gotten this deal without capital
controls. They could have gotten this deal without pushing the
European Union and the creditors to the limit that they did.

PERIES: And what is in the minds of those who are favoring what they
have just tabled to the creditors? What are they hoping to do? Is this
crisis management, is this a stopgap measure? Is it buying time?

LASCARIS: I'm going to be as charitable as I can. I think they are
overcome with fear. That's all. That's the--that's the most charitable
interpretation...  I'm going to be charitable and say I think they're
simply overcome by fear and that they actually did want, genuinely
wanted to stay within the Eurozone and strike a more humane deal. But
even on the most charitable interpretation the way they've gone about
this has been a complete and utter disaster from a political and
economic perspective.

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