published at The Guardian Tuesday 17 February 2015
Is Syriza a ‘far-left’ party, or are its economic policies mainstream Keynesian?
The European Union’s demand that Greece continue with the catastrophic austerity policies of the past five years flies in the face of democracy and sound economics. The Greek people in democratic elections decisively rejected these policies, which have led to a 26% shrinking of the economy, 27% unemployment and 40% of the population on the poverty line. A continuation of austerity will jeopardise the future of the EU and betray principles of democracy, prosperity and solidarity. It risks fuelling the rise of extreme anti-democratic forces in Greece and elsewhere. We urge the European leadership to respect the decision of the Greek people and to give the new government breathing space to reverse the humanitarian crisis and start the necessary reconstruction of the country’s devastated economy.
Costas Douzinas, Jacqueline Rose, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Zizek, Lynne Segal, Gayatri Spivak, Etienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Jean-Luc Nancy, Chantal Mouffe, David Harvey, Eric Fassin, Joanna Bourke, Immanuel Wallerstein, Wendy Brown, Sandro Mezzadra, Marina Warner, Drucilla Cornell
• On what objective grounds do the Guardian and its journalists persistently label Syriza “far-left” (Report, 14 February)? Its policies of ensuring everyone receives health care is pure NHS; halting mass evictions of people on to the streets is common human decency; its determination to root out corruption and make everyone pay taxes, especially the super-wealthy, is what the Labour party, and any decent government, should support; its economic policies are mainstream Keynesian. Germany has imposed 1930s economic policies on the southern countries of the EU with 1930s results. If Harold Wilson were around today, no doubt you would now label him far-left.