Petition: With the Greek Left for a Democratic Europe!

To/Against/For: With the Greek Left for a Democratic Europe!

For more information please contact:

Vicky Skoumbi, or Michel Vakaloulis, ;

It is clear that the responsibility for the chain of events that in a mere three years has plunged Greece into the abyss lies overwhelmingly with the parties that have held office since 1974. New Democracy (the Right) and PASOK (the Socialists) have not only maintained the system of corruption and privilege they have benefitted from it and enabled Greece’s suppliers and creditors to profit considerably from this system while the institutions of the European Community looked the other way. Under such conditions, it is astonishing that the leaders of Europe and the IMF,
posing as paragons of virtue and economic rigor, should seek to restore those same bankrupt and discredited parties to office by denouncing the “red peril” supposedly represented by SYRIZA (the radical Left coalition) and by threatening to cut off food supplies if the new round of elections to be held on June 17 confirms the rejection of the “Memorandum” clearly expressed in the elections of 6 May. Not only does this intervention flagrantly contradict the most elementary democratic norms but it would have terrible consequences for our common future.

This alone would be sufficient reason for us, as European citizens, to refuse to allow the will of the Greek people to be thwarted. But something even more serious is at stake. For the last two years, the European Union, in close collaboration with the IMF, has been working to strip the Greek people of its sovereignty. Under the pretext of stabilising public finances and modernising the economy, they have imposed a draconian system of austerity that has stifled economic activity, reduced the majority of the population to poverty, and demolished labor rights. This neo-liberal style “rectification” programme has resulted in the liquidation of the economic infrastructure and the creation of mass unemployment. Achieving this required nothing less than a state of emergency not seen in Western Europe since the end of the Second World War: the state’s budget is dictated by the Troika, the Greek Parliament nothing more than a rubber stamp and the Constitution repeatedly by-passed. This stripping away of the principle of people’s sovereignty has gone hand in hand with the humiliation of an entire country. Here, indeed, it has reached an extreme but it is not restricted to Greece. The peoples of all the member countries of the European Union are utterly disregarded when it comes to imposing a system of austerity that runs counter to any economic rationality, combining the interventions of the IMF and the ECB in support of the banking system and imposing governments of unelected technocrats.

On a number of occasions the Greeks have made clear their opposition to a policy that destroys a country while pretending to save it. Innumerable mass demonstrations, seventeen days of general strikes in two years, and
innumerable acts of civil disobedience, such as the movement of the “Indignant ones” in Synatagma square have shown their refusal to accept the fate to which they have been consigned without any consultation. And what was the response to this cry of despair and revolt? A doubling of the lethal dose and of police repression! It was then, in a context where the governing parties had lost all legitimacy, that it was decided that a return to the ballot box was the only way to avoid a social explosion.

Now, however, the situation is perfectly clear: the results of the 6 May elections have left no doubt about the mass rejection of the policies imposed by the Troika. Faced with the perspective of a SYRIZA victory in the 17 June elections, a campaign of disinformation and intimidation has been launched both inside the country and at European level. Its aim is to prevent SYRIZA from being seen as a trustworthy political interlocutor. Every possible means is used to disqualify it, beginning with the application of the label “extremist” to place it on a par with the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn. SYRIZA has been accused of every vice: fraud, double speak, and irresponsible and infantile demands. If we were to believe this vicious propaganda, itself based on a racist stigmatisation of the entire Greek people, SYRIZA poses a threat to freedom, the world economy and the European project itself. In such a case, it would be the joint responsibility of Greek voters and of our leaders to stop it in its tracks. Brandishing the threat of exclusion from the euro and other forms of economic blackmail, an attempt to manipulate the people is under way. It is a strategy of shock by which the dominant groups seek to use every means at their disposal to make the vote of the Greek people serve their interests, which they claim are ours as well.

We, the signatories of this text, cannot remain silent in the face of this attempt to deprive a European people of its sovereignty for which the elections are the last resort. The campaign to stigmatise SYRIZA and the threat to exclude Greece from the Euro zone must stop at once. It is up to the Greek people to decide their own fate by rejecting any diktat, by rejecting the poisons that its “saviours” have administered to it and by engaging freely in the forms of cooperation indispensable to overcoming the crisis, together with other European peoples.

We, in turn, affirm that it is time for Europe to understand the signal sent from Athens on 6 May. It is time to abandon a policy that is bringing an entire society to ruins and that declares a people unfit to govern themselves in order to save the banks. It is urgent to put an end to the suicidal drift of a political and economic construction that transfers government to “experts” and institutionalises the omnipotence of financial operatives. Europe must be the work of its citizens themselves in the service of their own interests.

This new Europe which we, like the democratic forces that have emerged in Greece, wish and intend to fight for is that of all its peoples. In every country, there are two politically and morally antithetical Europes in conflict: one which would dispossess the people to benefit the bankers and another which affirms the right of all to a life worthy of the name and that collectively gives itself the means to do so.

Thus, what we want, together with the Greek voters and SYRIZA’s activists and leaders, is not the disappearance of Europe but its refoundation. It is ultra-liberalism that provokes the rise of nationalisms and the extreme right. The real saviours of the European idea are the supporters of openness, and of the participation of its citizens, the defenders of a Europe where popular sovereignty is not abolished but extended and shared.

Yes Athens is indeed the future of democracy in Europe and it is the fate of Europe that is at stake. By a strange irony of history, the Greeks, stigmatised and impoverished, are at the front line of our struggle for a common future.

Let us listen to them, support them and defend them!!!

First signatories:

Etienne BALIBAR, philosopher
Vicky SKOUMBI, chief editor of aletheia (Athens)
Michel VAKALOULIS, philosopher and sociologist

The appeal has already been signed by more than 170 personalities, including:

Giorgio AGAMBEN, philosophe

Michel AGIER, anthropologue

Tariq ALI, historien

Tewfik ALLAL, écrivain, président du Manifeste des Libertés

Denis ALLARD, chercheur au CNRS

Elmar ALTVATER, philosophe

Charles ALUNNI, philosophe

Bernard ANCORI, professeur d’épistémologie, vice-président Sciences en Société

Dominique ANGEL, artiste

Arturo ARMONE CARUSO, metteur en scène et comédien

Chryssanthi AVLAMI, historienne

Jean-Marc BABOU

Alain BADIOU, philosophe

Maria-Benedita BASTO, maître de conférences, Université Paris IV

Fethi BENSLAMA, philosophe et psychanalyste

Philippe BERAUD, économiste, professeur d’université


Samuel BIANCHINI, artiste et maître de conférences

Annie BIDET-MORDREL, philosophe

Jacques BIDET, philosophe

Guillaume BOCCARA, anthropologue, CNRS-EHESS

Constantinia BOGOS-HELFER, médecin

Carlo BORDINI, poète

Paul BOUFFARTIGUE, sociologue

Jean-Raphaël BOURGE, politologue

Jean Pierre BOURQUIN, peintre

Wendy BROWN, University of California

Claude CALAME, Directeur d’études à l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales


Didier CHATENAY, physicien, CBRS

Gérard CLADY

Pierre CLEMENT, biologist

Rémi COIGNET, critique

Catherine COLLIOT-THELENE, philosophe

Thomas COUTROT, économiste atterré, co-président d’ATTAC

Marie CUILLERAI, philosophe, Université Paris 8

Philippe CYROULNIK, critique d’art

Dominique De BEIR, artiste

Judith DELLHEIM, économiste, Berlin

Christine DELPHY, sociologue CNRS


Anne DIMITRIADIS, metteur en scène

Noël DOLLA, artiste peintre

Costas DOUZINAS, Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Jérôme DUPIN, artiste et professeur des écoles nationales supérieures d’art

Maria EFSTATHIADI, écrivain

Jean EISENSTAEDT, physicien

Nabil EL HAGGAR, physicien

Julia ELYACHAR, anthropologue, University of California

Roland ERNE, University College Dublin

Trevor EVANS, Berlin School of Economics and Law

Camille FALLEN

Olivier FAVIER

Jeanne FAVRET-SAADA, Ethnologue, Marseille

Anita FERNADEZ, cinéaste, Paris

Franck FISCHBACH, philosophe

Nancy FRASER, philosophe et politologue, New School for Social Research

Florent GABARRON, psychanalyste

William GASPARINI, sociologue, professeur des universités

Jakob GAUTEL, artiste plasticien et enseignant

Elisabeth GAUTHIER, Espaces Marx, Réseau Transform !

Claude GAUTIER, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3

François GEZE, éditeur

Nigel GIBSON, Boston USA

Françoise GIL, sociologue

Alain GLYKOS, universitaire et écrivain

Nilüfer GOLE, sociologue, EHESS

Stathis GOURGOURIS, philosophe, écrivain

Éric GUICHARD, philosophe (CIPh), Maître de conférences (ENSSIB/ENS-Ulm)

Patrice HAMEL, artiste plasticien

Marie-Elisabeth HANDMAN, anthropologue, Paris

Keith HART, anthropologue

Carlos HERRERA, professeur de droit


Engin ISIN, Political Science, Open University London

Jean-Paul JOUARY, philosophe

Baudouin JURDANT, professeur émérite

Jean-Pierre KAHANE, mathématicien, membre de l’Académie des sciences

Maria KAKOGIANNI, philosophe

Jason KARAÏNDROS, artiste, professeur Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, ESADHaR

Anne KEMPF, enseignante

Danièle KERGOAT, sociologue

Delphine KOLESNIK-ANTOINE, maître de conférences, philosophie

Dimitra KONDYLAKI, dramaturge, traductrice


Cécile KOVACSHAZY, Universität Bremen

Jean-Marc LACHAUD, Professeur d’esthétique à l’Université de Strasbourg

Rose-Marie LAGRAVE, directrice d’études à l’EHESS

Bernard LAHIRE, sociologue

Gérard LANIEZ, chargé de mission, Ville de La Rochelle

Jérôme LEBRE

Jean-Pierre LEFEBVRE, Professeur émérite (Etudes Germaniques), Ecole Normale Supérieure

Stéphane LEVY, cinéaste

Guy LELONG, écrivain

Jean-Marc LEVY-LEBLOND, physicien et essayiste

Laurent LOTY, chercheur au CNRS

Michael LÖWY, sociologue

Seloua LUSTE BOULBINA, philosophe

Pierre MACHEREY, philosophe

Bernard MAITTE, physicien, historien des sciences

Henri MALER, philosophe

Philippe MANGEOT, Professeur de Première Supérieure

Bernard MARCADE, critique d’art, Paris

Alexandros MARKEAS, compositeur, professeur au Conservatoire de Paris

Philippe MARLIERE, Politologue, University College London

Tomaz MASTNAK, Ljubljana/University of California at Irvine

Jean MATRICON, physicien

Ugo MATTEI, Professor of Law, Università Torino and California

Alexandros MARKEAS, compositeur, professeur au Conservatoire de Paris

Jérôme MAUCOURANT, Université de Lyon

Robert MILIN artiste, professeur dans une Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts

Paul-Antoine MIQUEL, philosophe

Miquel MONT, artiste plasticien



Jean-Luc NANCY, philosophe

Toni NEGRI, philosophe

Frédéric NEYRAT, philosophe

Bertrand OGILVIE, philosophe, Université Paris 8



Silvia PAGGI, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis

Mariella PANDOLFI, Professeur d’anthropologie, Université de Montréal

Leo PANITCH, York University, Toronto Canada

Νeni PANOURGIA, anthropologue

Catherine PAOLETTI, philosophe

Roland PFEFFERKORN, professeur de sociologie, Université de Strasbourg

Ernest PIGNON-ERNEST, peintre et graveur

Mathieu POTTE-BONNEVILLE, philosophe

Ludovic POUZERATE, acteur, auteur et metteur en scène

Yvon QUINIOU, philosophe

Jacques RANCIERE, philosophe

Emmanuel RENAULT, philosophe

Judith REVEL, philosophe

Michèle RIOT-SARCEY, historienne

Avital RONELL, philosophe, New York University

Miriam ROSEN, journaliste-traductrice

Rossana ROSSANDA, essayiste, fondatrice de Il Manifesto (Rome)

Anne SAADA, historienne

Maria Eleonora SANNA

Diogo SARDINHA, philosophe

Robert SAYRE, professeur émérite, Université Marne-la-Vallée

Marta SEGARRA, Université de Barcelone

Cristina SEMBLANO, économiste

Guillaume SIBERTIN-BLANC, philosophe

Paul SILICI, Maire de Saorge

Richard SMITH

Jean-Paul SOUVRAZ, artiste peintre

Michalis SPOURDALAKIS, sociologue

Bernard STIEGLER, philosophe

Ann Laura STOLER, anthropologue, New School for Social Research

Efi STROUSA, historienne et critique d’art

Michel SURYA, revue Lignes

Danielle TARTAKOWSKY, professeur d’histoire, Université Paris 8

Etienne TASSIN, philosophe

Jean-François TEALDI, journaliste audiovisuel public

Catherine THENEVIN, ingénieur à l’Institut Jacques Monod, Université Paris 7

Spyros THEODOROU, directeur, Echange et diffusion des savoirs

Bruno TINEL, économiste

André TOSEL, philosophe

Josette TRAT, sociologue

Carmela URANGA, artiste plasticienne et traductrice

Eleni VARIKAS, sociologue, Etudes féminines

Dimitris VERGETIS, psychanalyste, directeur de la revue grecque αληthεια

Jérôme VIDAL, directeur de RdL la Revue des Livres

Heinz WISMANN, philosophe, EHESS

Frieder Otto WOLF, philosophe, Freie Universität Berlin, ex-Membre du Parlement Européen

Clemens ZOBEL, politiste, Université Paris 8


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