Friday, August 21, 2015

Being Panayiotis Lafazanis: Honest, Reliable, Consistent Leader of the New New Left

Panayiotis Lafazanis, Interview with "Eleftheros Typos" [Free Press], 14 March 2015:

Q: You had stated last October that a SYRIZA government will "abolish the Memorandum and its implementation laws in one night, with one legal act, just as they were dictatorially imposed." What has changed, Mr. Minister, and you forgot about this statement? Was the raw reality stronger than the pre-election wishes of your party or do you think the government has backtracked in many of its commitments when faced with the lenders?

A: There is no statement of mine that we will abolish the Memorandum in one night; it only exists as a total distortion of what I have said at different times. Personally, I always underlined, indeed, that Memoranda and their implementation laws must be abolished by a government in which SYRIZA will participate not "dictatorially", but with normal parliamentary procedures, with respect to the Parliament and with a full observance of the Parliamentary Regulations and Constitution. The first act of our new government was to immediately stop the implementation of the Memorandum that was in process. The austerity measures and the taxes that the ND-PASOK government was about to implement were thrown in the garbage. Our commitment for full abolition of the Memoranda and their implementation laws is still wholly valid; and this commitment, despite the great post-election difficulties and the blatant blackmail from abroad, will be fully honored in the next few months. The full abolition of memoranda is a position equivalent to SYRIZA's identity and the precondition for a new, consistent, progressive, developmental course and prospect for the country.

Panayotis Lafazanis, Parliament speech, approximately 1 month before interview, 10 February 2015, 0:23-2:14 of video:

"A question haunted the atmosphere before the elections [of January 2015]. And to be honest, I saw it even in those who were decided to vote for SYRIZA. They would say: "If SYRIZA wins, will it implement its radical pre-electoral program? Or will it follow the beaten path of all previous governments, that said one thing before elections and did another after elections?" I think that for a lot of the skeptics, whether they are well-meaning or not, this question has been reliably answered by the Prime Minister's programmatic statement. But if there are still skeptics concerning the government's consistency, and I can see a number here [smirk] --in fact supporters of the Memoranda-- who are worried that we will implement even a part of the Memorandum --70, 60, 50%-- so, since I see a number here, let me assure you: Don't worry, gentlemen. The Memoranda and the Troika are over. Cause you are really worried [smirk]. The Memoranda and the Troika are over."

Panayiotis Lafazanis, 17 April 2013, SKAI News: 

- "The Memorandum and its implementation laws, Memoranda in general and their implementation laws, will be abolished, terminated, thrown in the garbage."

- "So you will do this by law?"

- "There is no other way, is there? These are laws. [...] The Memoranda were imposed by laws, dictatorially, in one night."

Panayiotis Lafazanis, Mega Channel, 29 December 2014, 0:40 into video:

"The pro-Memorandum governments are now over. Just as the Memoranda and their implementation laws are over. This stuff is all over for Greece [...] We will terminate the presence of the Troika in this country."

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