Interview to Austerity is the real threat for Europe


Arianna Sgammotta

1) How does Syriza see the future of Greece? Which are your plans in terms of economic and social measures for the country?

For Syriza, the future of Greece lies clearly within the European Union and the eurozone. For us, the future of EU and therefore of Greece, can be prosperous only with a stronger european political union, social cohesion and solidarity.

My country has experienced an unprecedented recession and social damage in a european level, for six years now. It has been the result of extreme austerity policies, which have failed and we are facing a financial and social dead-end. We need absolutely to change direction. If greek people elects a Syriza-based government, our first priority will be to provide relief to the poorest and weakest people. At the same time, action will be taken to revive economic activity and return to growth. These policies should be initiated immediately, with the existing economic means.

2) Why Eu is afraid of Tsipras?

The argument of the “fear of Tsipras” does not hold any more. Our political opponents are, in fact, afraid of Syriza, because it represents a rising force, acting against the extreme austerity policies, which have resulted to economic depression and social regression. But Syriza has clearly expressed its commitment to fight for solutions with a different policy, within the frame of the EU and the eurozone. These positions are now widely known in both sides of the Atlantic ocean. Moreover, the ideas of Syriza are shared by an increasing number of economists worldwide.

3) if there will be an election and you will succeed, which will be your proposals toward Brussels?

There is a couple of undeniable facts: first, the extreme austerity imposed to Greece and accepted by the greek governments so far, has failed and, second, the national debt is not sustainable. We will negotiate a significant relief of the extreme fiscal pressure, in order to redirect capitals to the real economy, which is essential for a return to growth. Only if the perspectives of real economy return towards significant growth, Greece will be able to regain its position in the international market.

4) According to you in what has wrong Eu during the crisis? And in what is it still doing wrong?

The EU acted “as usually”, by trying to preserve its political status quo, while the crisis was demanding courageous decisions to enhance political union and social cohesion. It responded with a lack of vision and solidarity. A change towards a more balanced economic and social policies at the european level, with stress to growth and employment, is the condition to ensure a future for a strong EU.

5) What do you think about Juncker’s plan and its aim to boost growth? And what do you think about Mario Draghi?

It is positive that the Commission has realized the need to give a significant boost to the European economy. Unfortunately, the proposed plan is totally disappointing. It is based on the irrelevant assumption that private capitals of nearly 300 billion euros can be mobilized, in a time of depression, when the international markets are reticent to invest in real economy. Significant amounts of fresh public capitals are vital for such a plan to succeed, as argued by many political and economic european actors.

Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank are among the economic actors which push for a change in european economic policy towards investments, growth and employment. He has promised more decisive Quantitative Easing action, which would be beneficial for real economy. We hope that he will be in measure to keep his promises soon.

6) Someone think that Syriza will lead Greece out of the eurozone while Tsipras hasn’t speak about it…where does these misunderstandings come from?

Our opponents, mainly in Greece, tend to present Syriza as an anti-european political force. This permits to them to claim that there is no alternative to austerity within the eurozone. In reality, it is all the contrary: while the austerity policies wave weakened the european economy (and in consequence, Europe’s political strength), Syriza and its european counterparts propose a way for sustainable growth with social cohesion and stronger political union, and a more independent presence in the international scene.

7) which are your relations with Podemos? And do you have some partner in italy????

The build of alliances, both at the national and european level, is an essential point for Syriza. The movement of Podemos in Spain, which shows an impressive increase of its influence in the recent polls, is one of our most important partners. In Italy, the movement “l’ altra Europa” is our closest partner. But we believe that more wide alliances can be constructed progressively, as an increasing number of voices, mainly within the social-democratic european parties, emerge and demand radical changes in european economic and social policies.

The interview in italian can be seen in the address:

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