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Costas Lapavitsas: The Syriza strategy has come to an end

 Source: The Press Project

Tuesday 17 March 2015

In a joint interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel and ThePressProject International, Syriza MP and economist Costas Lapavitsas says that the time has come for Greece and its partners to understand that “they are flogging a dead horse”. Instead, they should work together on “an exit that will be negotiated and consensual”. The first step? “After 5 years of scaremongering and misinformation, there has to be at last a genuine public debate”.

By Elisa Simantke and Nikolas Leontopoulos

It is not new that Costas Lapavitsas, professor at SOAS in London, has been actively advocating Grexit – though this is the first time he does so since he was elected MP with Syriza in January 2015. His views were once again shunned not only by political opponents but also by ministers of his own party.

However, even if one disagrees with Lapavitsas’s ideas about the currency, it’s hard to dismiss his assessment – confirmed from developments in the past few weeks – that the Eurozone doesn’t seem to allow any real middle way between austerity and a Grexit: “The leadership of the party knows that it has a very tough choice ahead of it: Do we persevere with the programme that we proclaimed to the Greek people? Or do we submit to what the institutions, the Brussels Group, the troika, whatever you want to call it, want us to do? These two things are incompatible.”

His two recent interviews with ‘Bild’ newspaper in Germany and ‘Jacobin ’ magazine in the US triggered a flurry of reactions in Greece: «Α plan of folly with drachma and gas rationing!» (link in Greek ) titled ‘moderate’ TOC, followed by similar headlines in country’s most media.

How wise is it for a debate that has been dominating the columns of the world’s newspapers and the plenaries of the continent’s parliaments to remain a taboo in the country it mostly concerns? No matter whether Grexit would ultimately be a catastrophic strategy or “the only logical solution”, the point conveyed through this joint interview to Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel and ThePressProject International is that, “there has to be a genuine public debate at last”.

What’s your opinion on the negotiations so far? How is the government doing?

The Syriza strategy has been – and it remains – that a change in the political alignment of forces in Greece, in Europe, or generally, would act as a catalyst in the Eurozone. This strategy has now come to an end. The real question is how long it will be before people understand it.

I was always extremely skeptical of it. I always argued that it isn’t just about political alignment, there are institutional mechanisms and the logic of the monetary union. And those who believe that a simple change of politics is enough to transform this, were mistaken and I think this has been confirmed.

What we’ve seen is that the institutional framework of the Eurozone and the ideological machinery attached to it are not susceptible to arguments that come from electoral realignments. So the agreement of the 20th of February at . . .

[. . .]

Read the rest of this article via: Costas Lapavitsas: The Syriza strategy has come to an end / The Press Project