“There have been no negotiations”

Stathis Kouvelakis, eden najvidnejših predstavnikov leve opozicije znotraj Sirize (Leva platforma), o “pogajanjih”, taktiki Ciprasa in vojni, ki jo je po njegovem mnenju Evropa napovedala Grčiji.

SyrizaIrish

Foto: The Irish Times 

How have we reached this point, after five months of negotiations?

There have been no negotiations. That term isn’t adequate for describing what has happened. The European institutions have maintained the same line since the beginning: namely, that of imposing an austerity plan on the new Greek government, forcing it to remain within a framework identical to that of its predecessors and thus showing that electoral contests in Europe can have no effect on what policies are followed, a fortiori when it is an anti-austerity party of the radical Left that wins them. What we call the negotiations were merely a deadly trap – one that has closed in on Tsipras. His error was not to have understood this in time. He thought that if he pushed the discussions as far as possible, the Europeans would ultimately decide on compromise rather than take the risk of a rupture. But they have not conceded anything, while he has given up a lot over the last five months: he has made enormous concessions, public opinion has got used to the idea that an agreement was possible, and the public coffers are empty.

Did Tsipras not also make a mistake in thinking that he could achieve less austerity even while remaining in the Eurozone?

I am part of the tendency within Syriza that has believed from the outset that wanting to reconcile a rejection of austerity with staying in the euro is a contradiction. And with the ECB deciding to cut off the Greek banks’ main means of financing in February, we saw that it was not indeed possible. The currency weapon has served as a means of pressure on the Greek government in order to force it to renounce its anti-austerity policy. The most recent episode in this blackmail was the Eurogroup compelling Tsipras to close the banks for the whole week, by refusing to extend the current programme. The goal is a clearly political one: by taking the Greeks hostage and creating a situation of panic, particularly among the middle classes and the wealthy, they are attempting either to force the government not to go as far as staging the referendum, or else to dictate the conditions in which it takes place and help the “Yes” camp. Europe has declared war on Greece.

Celoten intervju lahko preberete na spletni strani Verso Books (Miri Davidson). Avtorica intervjuja je Sarah Halifa-Legrand (za Le Nouvel Observateur). V angleščino prevedel David Broder.

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