Interview with leader of the Greek Syriza Party: ‘The Euro is a Powder Keg that is Going to Explode!’Posted: October 1, 2012
Interview with Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, conducted by Eduardo Febbro and originally published in the Argentinian newspaper Página/12 on Wednesday 19th September. Translated Richard McAleavey on Cunning Hired Knaves
Translation originally published at Critical Legal Thinking
Euro or no euro. That was the grand dilemma in which Greece, and in particular, the Syriza movement that you lead, was framed. How do you analyse the period of crisis that Europe is currently undergoing, and which seems to put in question much more than the sacrosanct stability of the euro? Read the rest of this entry »
originally posted at http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/ 29 April 2012
On Friday 27th April, Christian Amanpour interviewed me on CNN Int on the theme of Europe’s slow suicide by inane austerity. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO. The transcript of Yanis Varoufakis conversation follows:
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everybody. I’m Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to the program.
Just when it looked like Europe might have weathered the worst of the economic storm, some very distressing news this week. After a brief
period of progress, Britain has gone back into a recession now. And of course much of Europe never left the recession. It’s a long and grim list: Greece, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic,Ireland, Portugal, Denmark – and it goes on.
Many of these countries have adopted austerity programs to try and lighten their staggering debt loads. So in my brief tonight, is that
medicine killing the patient? In other words, is all that austerity too much too soon?
Look at this graph that we’re putting now in our graphics table. So you have very strong economic growth from the beginning of the 2000s all the way up to the financial crisis of ’08. Then it plunges quite significantly. Then it starts to try to climb and struggle back up the
hill until, in Britain, with the conservative Cameron government and their austerity measures, growth simply petered out, simply flattened.
And the human cost of Europe’s recession is clear. There’s violence in Athens and Madrid and other cities across the continent. But the tragedy may best be summed up in a note that was left pinned to a tree in a public square in Athens.
It read, “Austerity kills.” It referred to 77-year-old Dimitris Christoulas, a retiree who shot himself outside the Greek parliament
earlier this month. His suicide note said that he couldn’t face the prospect of, quote, “scavenging through garbage bins for food and becoming a burden to my child.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Jason Barker, Nemanja Korsic New Left Project.org
Marx Reloaded is the Arte culture documentary that mixes serious interviews with some of Europe’s most renowned leftist thinkers with coquettish animation featuring Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky. Among those ruminating on the state of capitalism in the midst of ongoing global recession are John Gray, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Jacques Rancière, Nina Power, Alberto Toscano and Slavoj Žižek. There’s even an appearance by the controversial German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk.
The following interview took place on 20 April 2011 at the Moskva Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia.
Nemanja Korsic: TV documentaries about Karl Marx are not so common. Was it difficult to get Marx Reloaded commissioned, especially given its political subject-matter?
Jason Barker: Marx Reloaded didn’t begin life as a TV documentary. Originally the idea was to do something much more experimental for the cinema. That seemed like the obvious home for Marx. The idea was to make a fully animated feature documentary, based on Marx’s letters, but with a lot of fictional elements thrown in. Something in the mould of Waltz with Bashir. That’s still my ambition. But gradually it became clear that the type of budget needed for that was going to take years to track down. There’s very little money in documentary film-making and that this was an animated film, and a film based around Karl Marx’s ideas, only added to the “ambitious” nature of it. Read the rest of this entry »
online in Greek at Avgi.gr
Let us simplify in order to understand; at least the general picture.
1. The crisis under way is a crisis of capitalism. Because capital is a relation and not what we save for future needs, it does not exist unless it is being continuously invested for profit. The crisis is a crisis of over-accumulation: the accumulated capital encounters grave difficulties in finding outlets for profitable investment. Hence the problem is not lack of wealth. On the contrary, the problem is that immense wealth has been accumulated in the form of capital.
2. The preceding (unstable as always) equilibrium was the outcome as well as the manifestation –at least in the developed countries– of an accumulation regime based on loaning: capital profited by drawing from future incomes. The unregulated and unrestrained development of this form of profiting (subprime loans, sophisticated banking products etc) led Lehmann Brothers to default and thereby, through the dissemination of such products and the worldwide interdependence of banks, to the crisis of the financial system and of capitalism in its entirety. We should not forget that financial capital has long been the spearhead of capital generally.
3. After a short period of oscillation (when the option of somewhat regulating the financial system was timidly discussed) governments decided to save the banks by spending enormous amounts of money (i.e. social wealth) and leave them unfettered. The dominant dogma was and still is that markets (under the hegemony of the banks) regulate themselves.
Philosopher and Critical theorist Slavoj Zizek, says he’s not an optimist when it comes to Europe and the broad political and ideological struggle in the continent and the world. But he salutes the demonstration of the British workers last Saturday (26 March 2011) and the awackening “of some kind of authentic left” as the only hope in defense of the European values. Greek Left Review met Slavoj Zizek and prof. Costas Douzinas at Birkbeck college in the center of London on Saturday morning. While according to the Guardian 400.000 workers were marching towards Hyde Park, Slavoj Zizek emphasized that social mobilization and the emergence of European solidarity amorng workers is the only way to break out of the vicious cycle that neoliberal technocrats and religious fundamentalists are driving the continent.
GLR: Today we’re witnessing in Britain the largest march since the Iraqi war. After a year of unrest in many European countries an image of possible solidarity appears. Is there anything to be gained by European solidarity and is this solidarity even possible? What is the European project about today?
SZ. Το paraphrase this quote from May 68: It’s not possible, but it’s necessary. If by saying Europe we mean what is worth fighting for like egalitarian legacy, the idea of solidarity, welfare state and so on, then, maybe it’s the only thing that can give us, some hope. Europe, not only, cannot realize its project but it cannot even see what this project is. What makes me happy in this protest today is that it gives me the pleasure to correct my previous analysis which was that today in Europe you only have two choices: On the one hand the pro-capitalist liberal parties which can at the same time be progressive in issues like human rights, abortion and so on and on the other – the only moment of true passionate politics – right-wing anti-immigrant formations. My claim is that this would be a dead end if these were the only choices. It’s a great hope for Europe that some kind of radical or authentic left is awakening. Read the rest of this entry »
Interview with Tariq Ali*
Following the recent credit crisis in the USA, some have said that we were witnessing the death of neo-liberalism. Would you say that this is the case, or that in fact recent events are leading to harsher neo liberal times?
The crisis that destabilized the Wall-Street system in 2008 required massive state intervention by the US government to the tune of trillions of dollars. A similar process took place in Britain. Tax-payers have paid for capitalism. The rich men’s panic is temporarily over. That alone should have been the death-knell for neo-liberal economics, but is it? Clearly not. Read the rest of this entry »