Friday, 23 January 2015
Alexis Tsipras "On January 25th Greece will have hope. And Europe a compass for change."
On January 25 Greece will shut the door on the past. SYRIZA’s victory is the hope of the worlds of labour and of culture in all of Europe for change. To make the necessary step forward. From the darkness of austerity and of authoritarianism, into the light of democracy, of solidarity and of sustainable development.
For this reason, Greece is only the beginning. Within this year, Spain's turn is coming. The change begins from the South. The defeat of the political sponsors of austerity, foreclosures, of insecurity and fear, of corruption and the scandals has its launching point in our countries. Our people will take the future in their hands and open the door of tomorrow for young and uncorrupted individuals. For their own people who have a clear gaze. For this reason, the victory of the Greek people and of SYRIZA carries the message of a new and hopeful course for Spain. A course which, as is shown by public opinion polls, the Spanish people are steadily turning towards. This is how the South will move forward, to change Europe.
Europe today is not a victim of the crisis – the crisis, in any case, ended where it began, in the USA, thanks to the expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. Europe is a victim of austerity. It is at risk from the conservative policies of all those who impose in their countries the selfish choices of Ms Merkel. The neoliberal management of the crisis has led the entire South to a politically unacceptable and economically unstable equilibrium of crisis. We exist between the stagnation and low GDP growth, in deflation, high indebtedness, high unemployment and spreading poverty.
And it is either a convenient delusion or a political contrivance for one to state that, with the Eurozone essentially in stasis (0.8% in 2014 and 1.1% in 2015), they will grow by themselves. And indeed when they are on the verge of deflation, have an increased public debt – over 100% of GDP this year – while at the same time being obliged to cut fiscal deficits. Regardless of how much they may cite the generous projections of the European Commission, commonsense will prevail in the end.
For this reason, the struggle of our peoples for change is the struggle of commonsense versus ideological fanaticism. It is the struggle of dignity versus servitude.
For us the equilibrium of the crisis is not an option. It is an opportunity for change. SYRIZA’s victory is a new beginning for the broadest possible cooperation of all the progressive forces and forces of the left of the European South. To stop that which is fueling stagnation, unemployment and over indebtedness: austerity. It is the launching point for the coordination of our policies for growth. To restore economic security and dignity to our countries. To repatriate the exiled youth – the young migrants.
These days, the European Central Bank holds the key to Europe. The policy of quantitative easing is one of the proposals for the collective and sustainable exit of the Eurozone from the crisis. If it is adopted it will be welcome, even after such a long delay. But for it to be effective it will have to completely reflect Mario Draghi’s "whatever it takes" statement. This means that it will have to be broad, without conditions and exemptions. That is, to include all of the countries that need it.
But monetary policy alone cannot counter the challenge of growth. We urgently need:
Expansionary fiscal policy in all the countries in the Eurozone where it is possible according to the current rules.
A European "New Deal". That is, strong, European funding of broad-scale development programs with high added value, and a plan to support industry -- in particular in European economies with particularly high unemployment.
A lightening of the debt burden in the framework of a "European Debt Conference” along the lines of the London Conference of 1953 that facilitated the post-war development of Germany. The collective and socially sustainable restructuring of the over indebtedness of the Eurozone is not a moral hazard for Ms Merkel, but a moral duty.
On January 25 the country will have hope. And Europe a compass for change.
By Alexis Tsipras leader of SYRIZA
First published at Organized Rage