DEI LENK: Greece is facing a serious socio-economic crisis while the austerity plan is intensifying. What are the measures proposed by SYRIZA, to put an end to this deadly spiral?
You are absolutely right that the failure of Greece’s austerity package, encoded as “Memorandum”, will bring a new one and even heavier. Our party is committed to cancel the Memoranda of austerity and recession. We will negotiate a new and different loan agreement with our creditors, aiming to stop the destructive austerity and bring about a real and sustainable reduction of national public debt, which is unsustainable and out of control.
We have elaborated a national plan for economic, social and environmental reconstruction to replace the Memorandum of austerity. It will exit Greece from the economic and social crisis and create the conditions for a new and sustainable model of development.
That plan has three pillars:
First pillar: Stabilising the economy. To this end, we will focus on the side of public revenues: we will eliminate tax evasion, reduce tax rates on low and middle classes and increase taxation on the oligarchy. That would stimulate internal demand and help the economy recover.
Second pillar: Averting the humanitarian crisis. To this end, we will implement emergency measures of social protection for people of low income and those living below the poverty line.
Third pillar: Reorganising the productive base and developing the comparative advantages of the economy.
DEI LENK: In order that these measures should be effective, should they have to be applied to other European countries as well, or even to the EU as a whole?
From the onset of the crisis, SYRIZA has taken the position that Greece’s public debt crisis was not a national exception, but, instead the earlier manifestation of Eurozone’s collective debt problem. Viewed from that angle, a European problem requires a European solution. To this end, part of the new loan agreement with the country’s creditors that a SYRIZA government would negotiate is calling a European Debt Conference to reach a collective and sustainable solution to the problem. In SYRIZA’s European strategy, that solution would serve as a springboard for Europe’s sustainable recovery and growth.
Of course, this is our political preference and first choice. If rejected by our partners, we will then work towards a solution at the national level.
DEI LENK: The European Left Party will hold its next congress in December 2013. The refoundation of the EU remains as an issue? How will you achieve this?
The European Left party is fighting to shift the correlation of political forces in Europe with a view to emancipating Europe from neo-liberal consensus, along with the peoples of Europe in the anti-austerity and social movements.
In Greece, SYRIZA has made a big and irreversible step to power for the people, with the people. The victory of SYRIZA in the next elections will be a victory for all people of Europe and will trigger successive political and social power shifts in the European level.
We are thus steadily laying the ground to Europe’s refoundation. By putting forward collective and coordinated progressive policies to exit the crisis, focused on social, ecological and socially cohesive growth, that will create new and sustainable jobs with decent wages and salaries.
By repositioning the role of banks in the service of the economy and society – not of the voracious hedge funds and other levers of casino -capitalism.
We demand more democracy in Europe, with popular participation in the decision making process. We demand Europe.
A new Europe, our own Europe, is realistic and possible.