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Lafazanis’ Popular Unity doesn’t exclude Grexit and Return to Drachma

This is a very clear stance before the elections: Popular Unity, the party of SYRIZA rebels around former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis will pledge to abolish the bailout program and cancel austerity plans, will not exclude an orderly exit from the Eurozone as an option and introduce anew a national currency.

Speaking to US network CNBC, Panagiotis Lafazanis who is strongly affected by the socialist-communist ideology said among others:

“The principles of the Popular Unity Party include the end of national subordination and the need to follow a new independent, sovereign and progressive course.”

Top on the party’s agenda is to restore salaries and pensions to levels before 2010, as well as nationalize banks and private monopolies and support a decentralized economy run by trade unions, workers’ councils, cooperatives municipalities and communes.

Loyal to traditional left ideology, Lafazanis told CNBC that he denounced privatizations, tax increases and pension cuts.

The Popular Unity leader believes that an orderly Grexit from the euro area with a progressive program is a viable option. “If it is necessary in order to implement our program, we will not hesitate to leave the euro zone and re-establish a national currency. I don’t believe these actions will be hell for Greece as the euro area propagandists claim,” Lafazanis said.

He stressed that he believes that the new bailout agreement is deeply flawed and does not solve the vicious downward economic cycle Greece has been experiencing since 2010. “Greece is not for sale,” he underlined.

He strongly criticized Alexis Tsipras for having given up “all the substantive and fundamental programmatic commitments of Syriza,” Lafazanis said. “And he accepted a loan agreement that calls for destructive policies—including wage and pension cuts—which may give the final blow to the Greek economy.”

So, the new party Popular Unity (Laiki Enotita) has strong features of marxist-communist-conservative ideology with nationalization of the banks, politically active communes, common ownership of the means of production, welfare for all, and all the other nice things that brought down the USSR model of real socialism. One should not forget that Panagiotis Lafazanis was member of the Greek Communist Party KKE until 1992, and he strongly advocated the bond between Greece and Russia in the short time he was a minister.

Short history of the Greek Communist & Left parties since 1990’s

Synaspismos emerged initially as an electoral coalition at the late 1980s, with the pro-Soviet Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Greek Left, one of the successors of the eurocommunist KKE Interior, as its largest constituents. The Party of Democratic Socialism, a splinter from the Union of the Democratic Centre which occupied a similar position to PASOK, was the largest non-Communist member party.

The disintegration of the USSR brought the Left into disunion, and the traditional majority within KKE purged all non-hardliners from the party—almost 45% of the Central Committee members, including ex-general secretary Grigoris Farakos, and majorities in many Local Committees (named by the KKE majority as revisionists and by the press as the renewers). At this time KKE also left the coalition.

In 1988, KKE and Greek Left (Greek EAP; the former KKE Interior), along with other left-wing parties and organisations, formed the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos). In the June 1989 elections Synaspismos gained 13.1 per cent of votes and joined a coalition with New Democracy to form a short-lived government amidst a political spectrum shaken by accusations of economic scandals against the previous administration of Andreas Papandreou’s Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). In November of the same year Synaspismos participated in the “Universal Government” with New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement which appointed Xenophon Zolotas as Prime Minister for three months.

In 1991, KKE withdrew from Synaspismos. Some KKE members left the party and remained in Synaspismos, which evolved into a separate left-wing party that is now an alliance of Synaspismos with other leftist groups called the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).”(more here and here)

The question is whether Lafazanis will be able to convince Greece’s middle classes and petit bourgeois, who cast their votes for SYRIZA on January 25th elections out of frustration from PASOK and New Democracy austerity policies.

Generally, in public opinion polls of the last austerity-years, a 20-30% of Greeks declared that they favored a Grexit and return to Drachma. Does this mean that Lafazanis PU will get 20-30% in the upcoming elections?

Hardly anyone believes in a landslide victory for Lafazanis’s Drachma-lobby although no trustful public opinion poll has been published so far. Greece’s middle-classes and petit bourgeois do not traditionally favorite Marxism and common share of wealth, production and cooperatives life style. Lafazanis would take advantage of the austerity momentum though and attract supporters if he manages to disclose a thoroughly worked-out Grexit plan that has calculated all cost and risk. And this is most unlikely to happen for practical and political reasons…

BTW: I remember Lafazanis’ vice in PU, Stratoulis heralding before the May 2012 elections: “when SYRIZA will come to power, it will nationalize banks and ‘seize’ people’s deposits and use them for development.” (KTG article:Turmoil as SYRIZA-MP Speaks of “Utilization” of Citizens’ Deposits).

SYRIZA came to power but it did not dare to do these radical changes of nationalizing the banks and seize people’s money, as Marxists Stratoulis and Lafazanis were constituting only 1/3 of SYRIZA lawmakers.

PS As some comrade said two decades ago: Communism is dead but some people  in Greece have never seen its corpse.

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7 comments

  1. Do you know any marxist happy country, with strong economy? Communist/marxist systems are all big disasters.

    • Do you know any capitalist country with an wellfare state build after the fall of the Soviet Union?

      Do you know any marxist experience that could try its model without boycot and interference of the capitalist status quo?

    • Each country has different conditions, so trying just to follow someone else experience wont work. The problem remains: has EU the right to deprive less developed countries from their sovereighnity? What must be done?

      • As soon as a country signed (signs) up for EU membership it loses its sovereignty there and then. It just takes a while for this to become apparent, and by the time it beomes apparent the damage is done. Then the country finds itself in “Hotel California” territory

        you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave


        What must be done? Dismantle the whole EU scam immediately, to before the Masstricht Treaty, and stick with an economic cooperation without any ideas of a political, fiscal, military, etc. union.

        • Well, it was always understood that joining the EC altered sovereign power. The usual academic view was that national sovereignty was shared between the nation state and the EC itself — with the Treaties, secondary legislation and jurisprudence of the Court guiding how that sharing was carried out.

          Despite some earlier problems, the real problem has been with the eurozone. This has occurred, along with the seriously defective architecture of the economic arrangements, because the legal arrangements are also serously defective to the point of incompetence. The eurogroup does not have a legal form, its meetings are unrecorded and unminuted (which we did not know until Varoufakis exposed this), its decisions have no basis in Community law and have to be individually ratified by every government and parliament; the Troika also has no legal form, and operates outside of legal scrutiny.

          Basically, the eurozone countries have made a pig’s ear of their currency zone, and show their amateurish muddling very clearly since 2009. They then have the effrontery and hypocrisy to complain about Greece!

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      For most Roma it was obviously not, although these states were not Marxist but state-capitalists just like China, some with intensive class-war and huge strike-movements (except from some anarchists nobody reported) and most of them got bailed in by the Western states who gave them disastrous loans after they started years before their import/export-bullshit and tourism but first of all they let Eastern European prisoners work for bastards like Ikea and who were a big part of prisoners in their prisons? Real communists.

  2. Friday ,august 28, opinion poll.

    “A poll in leftist Efimerida ton Syntakton daily gave Syriza a 3.5-point lead over conservative New Democracy, even though a majority of voters disapprove of the snap ballot.

    The survey by pollsters ProRata said 23 percent of voters would support Syriza over 19.5 percent for New Democracy.

    But another 25.5 percent of respondents are undecided.”.

    ………..

    ” According to Friday’s opinion poll, Popular Unity would pick up 3.5 percent of the vote, just above the minimum percentage required for parliamentary representation.”.

    Thank You for your posts and all your work with this news website.

    http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/08/poll-sees-tsipras-in-lead-as-greece-gears-up-for-elections/