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The onset of the crisis led to widespread resistance and demonstrations in Greece, but this was unable to stop the austerity policies. While there has been a growth of right wing parties, most notoriously the neo-nazi Golden Dawn, the most striking political development has been the rise of the Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, which has won widespread support particularly among young people, city dwellers and working class voters.

How the euro caused the Greek crisis

According to Laskos and Tsakalotos what is now required is to strengthen democracy in Europe by promoting a mobilisation of support in both the South and the North for a radical change in policy. With the possibility of early elections in , this radical new party could soon face the formidable challenge of forming a government. Radhika Desai says Capital by Karl Marx is still an essential read on the th anniversary of its publication.


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Facebook Twitter RSS feed. Particularly so, when the Greek entry to the EU and later to the Eurozone had itself significantly exacerbated the development problem by effectively dismantling the productive structure of the country, as its infant industry and agriculture were not capable to compete with the imported commodities, following the opening and liberalization of markets imposed by the Single Market.

Under these conditions, even a Greek exit from the Euro and a devaluation of the drachma that will be re-introduced in its aftermath, could only have temporary effects on Greek competitiveness, unless mass investment in its productive structure takes place at the same time, which is far from guaranteed in an internationalized market economy. In other words, competitiveness at the core Euro countries, which are characterized by higher levels of labor productivity than in the South, mainly depends on keeping wages and prices under control, so that German commodities continue to be competitive because of their higher quality and so on compared to similar commodities produced in East Asia and beyond.

Thus, the Single Market, did not mean the unification of peoples, as the EU propaganda presented it, not even the unification of states, but simply the unification of free markets.

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Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone & the World Economic Crisis - Counterfire

This was the essence of the neoliberal globalization characterizing the new institutional framework of the EU, i. If Germany is indeed the country which was on the receiving end of the greatest benefits from joining EU and the Eurozone, whereas the countries of the European South received the least benefits out of it, this was far from accidental or due to the bad designing of the Eurozone as, post-Keynesians and other reformists including the Euro-Left!

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Then, the Single Market itself, under conditions of a common currency, brought about a relative equalization of commodity prices and a certain increase in wages in the South, as workers were struggling to maintain the real value of wages and at the same time to narrow the gap in wages with Northern workers. The obvious conclusion is that it is impossible to take any radical measures to exit from the current economic and not only!

Notes on Contributors

Only this way, Greece could retrieve the minimum required economic and national sovereignty for a strategy for economic self-reliance, which is necessary for the permanent exit from the crisis, through building a new productive structure to meet its needs. This means that the views that we could implement another policy even within the Eurozone, as SYRIZA suggests, or that it would suffice to exit from the Euro without the parallel direct and unilateral exit from the EU to implement a radically different economic strategy as other Left organizations suggest , are completely misleading.

This is because, as I tried to show above, the cause of the present economic catastrophe in Greece is neither the austerity policies of the Troika, as the supporters of the former view claim, nor the poor design and implementation of the Euro that led us to deficits and massive debt, as argued by the supporters of the latter view. However, in both cases, the failure of the proposed policies can be taken for granted, although the consequences will not be identical.

Banks are responsible for the crisis in Greece

Thus, in the first scenario of a SYRIZA-based government which looks likely following the Euro elections that could well function as a catalyst for general elections it is a matter of time for its failure to become evident, if it insists on its pro-EU and pro-Euro policy. Despite its present rhetoric, it would simply have to follow the same economic policies as the present government, perhaps with a minor relaxation of austerity policies assuming that the Euro-elites will find a way to cancel part of the Debt to make the rest of it payable.

As markets will remain open and liberalized under a Syriza government the party never challenged this fundamental tenet of neoliberal globalization , labor markets will also continue to be flexible. However, open and liberalized markets mean:.

Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt

On the other hand, in the case of the second scenario, i. But, these would be completely temporary, unless they were accompanied by a parallel radical restructuring of the productive structure, based on social decisions and not left to the market forces, as both scenarios implicitly or explicitly assume.


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And this brings us back to the need for a strategy of self-reliance that presupposes a Greek exit from both the Euro and the EU.