Saturday, February 28, 2015

SYRIZA "dissidence"

Much has been the hype, internationally and (far more grotesquely) nationally about supposed "dissidence" within SYRIZA regarding the Eurogroup agreement. First of all, it would be good to establish once and for all what the balance of formally expressed forces is within the party: in the elections held in 2013 for the constitution of SYRIZA's Central Commitee, the forces involved were as follows:

1. The Unity Ballot (that is to say, the "SYRIZA establishment"), 67.61%, 135 members of the CC

2. The "Left Platform" (the alleged "SYRIZA Left Wing", led by Panagiotis Lafazanis -- pictured above winking at us while voting in the aforementioned party elections; this is also the formation of the Jacobin's exceedingly verbose Stathis Kouvelakis) 30.15%, 60 members of the CC

3. The "Non-Allied", 1.03%, 2 members of the CC

4. The Communist Tendency (of which a gigantic amount of hype globally), 0. 74%, 2 members of the CC

5. The "Members' Intervention", 0.27%, 1 member of the CC

6. The "Unity Intervention", 0.21%, 0 members of the CC.

Hence, five groups are represented within the SYRIZA CC, of which three are totally insignificant, amounting to a mere 5 members out of the 200, or 2.5%.

Which is to say, if one is to spare oneself the futile labor of analytically disputing the bizarre and hilarious stories of "dissidence" that have circulated in the global Press: if there is any "dissidence" worth mentioning in SYRIZA, it must be that of the "Left Platform". But the "Left Platform" has never, ever carried a victorious motion within SYRIZA. In the few instances in which it introduced motions alternative to those of the Unity Ballot, it was predictably and summarily defeated and then handled the defeat by enthusiastically hailing the "democracy" and polyphony of the party, i.e, by flooding the Press with more SYRIZA cheerleading and self-congratulation.*

Which is exactly what the Left Platform's leading figure, the aforementioned Panagiotis Lafazanis, does in his latest interview (28 February 2015), published in the Left Platform's hilariously baptized "Iskra" website. I proceed to translate three questions and answers from the always entertaining SYRIZA MP:
1. You have expressed objections and reservations regarding the four month extension of the loan agreement. Do you think that it doesn't really abolish the Memorandum and that it presents a restriction for the materialization of your electoral promises? 
I don't want to make any public reference to my particular personal views on the four month agreement, which I have had the opportunity and the possibility of voicing in government and party organs. What I do want to emphasize is that SYRIZA is a democratic party. We were a democratic party when we had 4%, we remained a democratic party when we were the major opposition party and we will remain a democratic party as a government partner. We always express our views freely in our collective processes. And that is not a weakness, as our opponents allege, but a major advantage and source of strength for the country. The silence of the lambs is not fit for SYRIZA [all this while remaining magnificently silent on what his position actually is...] 
2. Must the Eurogroup agreement be ratified by Parliament [as KKE has officially asked]? Given the colorful reactions of government MPs, do you expect differentiations to arise during its voting? 
I don't think it is either necessary or compulsory for the agreement with our creditors to receive Parliament approval. The character of the agreement and its content are not of the type that can be encased in the form of law.

3. Is it in the government's interest to have the agreement for extending the loan contract voted on in Parliament, or should that be avoided? Will you vote for the agreement given your expressed objections?

As I already said, Ι don't consider it either necessary or compulsory for any agreement with creditors to receive Parliament ratification.
In June 2011, of course, when SYRIZA was still in the opposition, Mr. Lafazanis had passionately indicted the deficit of democracy in the procedure used by the then government through a formal Parliamentary question, from which I quote:
It has now been more than a year since the government signed (on May 8, 2010) a Loan Agreement for 80 billion euro with eurozone states as creditors [...] Despite this long period, the government has not yet brought for ratification to the Parliament this crucial loan agreement, despite the fact that the legislation for its ratification is ready and has been published as pending on the relevant Parliament Board. [...] This anticonstitutional and dictatorial stance of the government takes up even more antidemocratic dimensions given the fact that in this loan agreement there are a series of neocolonial commitments against the country, among which is the renunciation, on Greece's part, of any protection as regards its national assets. Given this, the Minister is asked: 
1. How is it possible for the government to commit our nation to an agreement based on English law and containing a series of neocolonial terms and the renunciation of national asset protection without the Parliament's agreement? [...]
I think this should suffice.

Any questions? 

* If one were moderately suspicious, one would be tempted to conclude that this precisely is the role of the "Left Platform": to create the illusion of an internal "struggle" so as to more effectively entrap the more naive by promising them a false "open-endedness" that mirrors the party's own alleged "struggle" to "change the system from within", hence providing a cost-free and easy "left" alibi for its relentless and cynical accommodation to monopoly capitalist interests.

But more on this, as well as on a second function, that of anti-KKE factionism, in the future.

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