[Marxism] FT: Growing revolt pushes Syriza towards a split

Shalva Eliava shalva.eliava at outlook.com
Thu Jul 23 20:56:08 MDT 2015


Okay last one for the night (didn't I say I wouldn't be posting about Greece/Syriza for a while...I guess I'm a little obsessed).

Machiavellian, indeed:

"...Government officials have signalled that Mr Tsipras, 40, might call a snap general election in September or October to build a majority to back him in the arduous task of implementing the creditor-dictated reforms.

One compelling reason for Mr Tsipras to call an early election is that the heaviest demands on taxpayers fall in the second half of the year. Public discontent with the government could rise once citizens are hit with tax bills they find hard to pay thanks to Greece’s lurch back into economic recession during Syriza’s six months in office.

...In a snap election campaign, Mr Tsipras is certain to exercise his right to hand-pick Syriza candidates, ensuring maximum fidelity to his new, pro-bailout policies."

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/448e0934-313c-11e5-8873-775ba7c2ea3d.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3glz0nyU9

Here's the whole article:

Growing revolt pushes Syriza towards a split

July 23, 2015 6:41 pm
Kerin Hope and Tony Barber in Athens

Disputes over Greece’s latest European rescue deal are pushing Syriza towards a split after a parliamentary vote exposed, for the second time in a week, sharp divisions between the prime minister and ultra-leftist rebels.

A total of 36 dissident Syriza MPs defied Alexis Tsipras early on 
Thursday by refusing to support him or abstaining in a vote on banking sector and civil justice reforms. Greece’s international creditors had made approval of the measures a condition of starting talks on a new €86bn aid programme.

The roster of rebels was shorter than one week ago, when 38 broke ranks in a vote on value added tax rises, broadening the tax base and cost-cutting measures aimed at making the pensions system more sustainable.

But on both occasions the dissidents numbered about a quarter of the ruling Syriza party’s 149-strong parliamentary group. Mr Tsipras was compelled to fall back on the support of moderate, pro-EU opposition parties to ensure the measures passed in the 300-seat legislature, enabling Greece to cling to eurozone membership.

Government and opposition politicians expect Mr Tsipras and his Syriza critics to part company after the two camps take stock of a session of the party’s policy-setting central committee in coming days.

“The anti-bailout strain in Syriza is so virulent that it can no longer be contained within the party. It demands political representation on its own,” said one leading opposition politician.

Government officials have signalled that Mr Tsipras, 40, might call a snap general election in September or October to build a majority to back him in the arduous task of implementing the creditor-dictated reforms.

One compelling reason for Mr Tsipras to call an early election is that the heaviest demands on taxpayers fall in the second half of the year. Public discontent with the government could rise once citizens are hit with tax bills they find hard to pay thanks to Greece’s lurch back into economic recession during Syriza’s six months in office.

Even though Greek banks closed for three weeks and capital controls remain in place, Mr Tsipras is riding high in opinion polls. By contrast, the moderate, pro-EU parties of the centre-right and centre-left are trailing far behind in the polls.

Some surveys suggest Mr Tsipras could win such a crushing victory in an early election he could gain 151 or more seats and an outright legislative majority. This would eliminate the need for Syriza to stick with its junior coalition partner, the rightwing, nationalist Independent Greeks.

However, Syriza politicians with memories of the 1967-74 military dictatorship are strong supporters of the present coalition, which they consider insurance against the possibility, however remote, of a military coup to oust the radical left.

In a snap election campaign, Mr Tsipras is certain to exercise his right to hand-pick Syriza candidates, ensuring maximum fidelity to his new, pro-bailout policies.

After Thursday’s vote, Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former energy minister and leading Syriza rebel, said: “Syriza is united even in its differences. The differences are a source of strength. They are not an Achilles heel.”
Slightly more than half of the members of Syriza’s central committee are bitter critics of Mr Tsipras’s decision to accept tough bailout terms just days after he won a referendum that underscored public dislike of demands that were milder.





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