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Syriza: “An Anti-Austerity Left Alliance Is Needed”

Translated Saturday 19 May 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Dimitris Papadimoulis was re-elected as a deputy for Syriza, the left coalition, on May 6. He gives his analysis in this interview.

Huma: Syriza has just been charged with forming a government. How will you proceed?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: We’re going to try to translate the voters’ message in favor of a government with a progressive left-wing content. We shall turn to all the political forces except the Nazis of Golden Dawn. Our priority will be the other left forces, those sitting in Parliament and the ecologists and leftists who were unable to enter the Vouli [1]. Alexis Tsipras will meet with all the political leaders and will put forward a set of governmental proposals. If there’s agreement, we shall discuss the composition of a government. There cannot be a government guided by austerity and the memorandum; consequently those who voted those measures cannot participate in the government – neither New Democracy nor PASOK.

Huma: The Greek Communist Party (KKE), which is, after Syriza, the main opposition force on the left, has refused [to participate in a government]. What will you do?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: The KKE has always rejected an alliance with Syriza. It has just repeated this. In reality, there are three possibilities. The first one, a strange one, is that PASOK and New Democracy will accord their confidence to a government led by the left, with a leftist program. This would contradict their program. The second possibility, which is complicated, is a joint government of PASOK, New Democracy and Democratic Left (DIMAR) [2]. The third possibility is that no government can be formed and we shall have new elections in mid-June. We shall seize this historic opportunity to present a package which does not concern only social and economic questions, but also the electoral laws, the independence of the judicial branch… We shall persevere that a left alliance may come into existence. We have a new argument: the people’s vote.

Huma: Many abroad say that the “anti-Europeans” have won. What do you say to that?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: The austerity measures and the new accords with the troika [3] are a way of preparing a return to the drachma. We therefore not only demand changes in Greece, but also in Europe, the abandoning of this neo-con approach. The Party of the European Left [4] is also putting forward similar proposals. We aren’t anti-European, but we are against Europe as it presently exists.

[1Hellenic Parliament

[2Translator’s note: Democratic Left is a Greek democratic socialist and social-democratic political party.

[3Translator’s note: The troika is the tripartite committee led by the European Commission with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which organized the “financial rescues” of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

[4Translator’s note: The Party of the European Left, commonly abbreviated to just the European Left, is an association of democratic socialist and communist political parties in the European Union and other European countries.

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