Friday, 25 May 2012

Oh, my God! Syriza’s 10-point plan to ‘save’ Greece


1. Formulating a shield to protect society against the crisis.
Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing and access to all services of public utilities.
Protection and relief measures for indebted households.
Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, abolition of VAT on basic goods.

2. Dispose of the Debt Burden. 
The debt is first and foremost a product of class relations and is in its very essence inhumane. It is produced by the tax evasion of the Rich, the looting of public funds and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.

We are asking immediately for:
Moratorium on debt servicing
Negotiation for debt cancelling, with a provision for social insurance funds and small savers’ protection. This is to be pursued by exploiting any available means such as audit control and suspension of payments.
Regulation of the remaining debt with clause provisions for economic development and employment.
European regulation for the debt of European States.
Radical change of European Central Bank’s role.
Prohibition of speculative banking products.
Pan- European tax on wealth, financial transactions and profits.

3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and abolishment of unnecessary expenses. 
Reorganisation and consolidation of tax-collecting mechanisms.
Taxation of the fortunes over 1m Euros and large-scale revenues.
Gradual increase, up to 45%,  of the tax on SAs distributed profits.
Taxing financial transactions. Special tax on consumption of luxury goods.
Lifting of tax exemptions of ship owners and the Greek Orthodox Church.
Lift of Banking and Merchant confidential, hunt down tax evasion and social insurance contribution evasion.
Banning of transaction carried through off shore companies.
Quest for new resources via efficient exploitation of European funds, via the claims on the payment of the German occupation loan and of German World War II reparations and finally via a steep reduction in military expenses.

4. Productive, Social and environmental reconstruction.
Nationalisation/socialization of the banks and integration of them in a public banking system under social and worker’s control in order to serve developmental purposes. The scandal of the recapitalization of banks must stop immediately.
Nationalization of all public enterprises, of strategic importance, that have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the provision of Public Goods.
Protection and consolidation of the SMEs of the social sector and co-operatives.
Ecological transformation of the developmental model. This includes a transformation in the sectors of energy production, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. All these sectors are to be reformed under the criteria of nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.
Development of scientific research and  productive specialization.

5. Stable employment with descent wage and social insurance.
The constant degradation of labour, coupled with the embarrassing levels of wages does not attract any investments nor development or employment.
We are calling for
Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.
Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and of real wages within three years.
Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.
Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.
Systematic confrontation of  lay-offs and labour relations deregulation.

6. Deepening Democracy. Democratic political and social rights for all.
There is a democratic deficit in the country.
Greece is gradually transformed into an authoritarian-police state.
We are calling for:
A  refoundation of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary power within the political system. Instigation of a proportional electoral system. Separation of Powers. Revoke the Law for ministerial Responsibility and abolishment of the MPs economic privileges.
Real decentralization and local government with sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.
Introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management under worker’s and social control at all levels. Measures against political and economic corruption.
Foundation  of democratic, political and trade union rights.
Enhancement of women and youth rights in the family, in work and in public administration.
Speed up the asylum process. Abolition of the Dublin II regulation and granting of travel papers to immigrants. Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection.
Democratic reform of public administration with the active participation of civil servants.
Demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coastguard. Disbandment of special forces.

7. Powerful Welfare State.
The anti-insurance laws the close-down of social services and the steep fall of social expenditures rendered Greece a country where social injustice reigns.

We are in need of:
An immediate programme of rescue of the pensions system that will include tripartite financing and gradual return of the pension funds portfolios into one public, universal system of social insurance.
A rise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches the 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment benefit. Introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the vulnerable social strata.

8. Health is a Public Good and a social right.
Health is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:
Support and upgrade of hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of first level medical care.
Stop lay-offs , cover the  needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment.
Free and costless access to medical treatment for all the residents in the country.
Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for the low-pensioners, the unemployed, the students and those suffering of chronic diseases.

9. Protection of Public education, research, culture and sports from the Memorandum’s policies.
In what regards education we are calling for:
Consolidation of universal, public and free education. Coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels. Compulsory 14 year unified education.
Revoke of Diamantopoulou Law. Consolidation of self-government of the Universities. Preservation of the academic and public character of the universities.

10. Independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of Peace.  
The adaptaion of our foreign policy to the exigencies of the U.S and the powerful states of the EU endangers the country’s independence, peace and security.
We are in need of
A multidimensional and peace-prone foreign policy
Disengagement from the NATO and shutdown of the foreign military bases.
Termination of the military cooperation with Israel.
Aiding the attempts of Cypriot people to reunite the island.
Furthermore on the basis of international law and on the principle of peaceful conflict resolution we will pursue a solution to the Greek-Turkish relations, a solution to the problem of FYROM’S official name and an identification of Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The incumbent economic and social system has failed and we must overthrow it!    
The economic crisis rocking global capitalism has shattered the illusions. All the more people witness that capitalist speculation is an inhuman organizational principle for the modern society. It is also unanimously shared that that private banks function only for the benefit of the bankers harming the rest of the people. Industrialists and bankers absorb billions from Health, Education and Pensions.
The exit from the crisis entails bold measures that will obstruct those who create it from continuing their destructive work. We are endorsing a new model of production and distribution of wealth, one that would include society in its totality. In this respect the large capitalist property is to be made public and managed democratically along social and ecologic criteria. Our strategic aim is socialism with democracy, a system in which all will be entitled to participate in the decision-making process.

We are changing the future we are making them past
We can win them, by forging unity and creating a new coalition for power with the Left as a cornerstone. Our weapons in this struggle are the alliance of the People, the inspiration, the creative effort and the struggles of the working people. With these we will shape the life and the future of a self-governed people.

Now the vote is to the People! Now People have the power!
In this election the Greek people can and must vote against the regime of Memoranda and Troika, turning, thus, a new page of hope and optimism for the future.

For Greece and for Europe, the solution is with the Left.

Source: Syriza


Anonymous said...

I won't attempt to comment on this as I am against the left and I am diametrically oppossed on most topics from this guy. I do support more help for the poor but I don't just blame the rich for not paying taxes. There are a higher percentage of small business owners in Greece then most countries therefore more tax cheats.

When I was in Taiwan they had a brilliant solution for getting people to pay sales taxes and shop owners not to cheat. Can't believe it hasn't been implemented anywhere else.

All receipts go through a centralized system and a number is generated. The number is used for a monthly lottery. Doesn't matter if you paid one penny you get a receipt. the chinese love lotteries and if the shop owner doesn't give them a receipt they will be asked for one. This keeps everyone involved in insuring that every transaction is accouted for. I think Greece needs this as this is on of the main causes of unpaid taxes.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what is more amazing; that a political party in Europe can come up with such an infantile and peurile set of slogans masquerading as a program; or that almost 20% of the Greek people are preparecd to vote for such a party.

Truly if the situation were not so desperate Tsipras and his followers would be an absurd joke. It is perhaps a measure of the depth of the Greek crises that his "program" is not a joke and that there are thousands of people prepared to hitch Greece on to the Tsipras train.

That this train is set to carry Greece over the abyss is undeniable. I trust that there are enough patriotic Greeks who can see this through their bitterness and despair and care enough to prevent the Syriza train wreck on June 17.

John Akritas said...

And the real absurdity/tragedy is that it shouldn't have been Tsipras and Syriza to have come up with the right policy of telling the IMF to get stuffed.

Hermes said...

If anyone was in any doubt, Varoufakis has shown his true colours in being a SYRIZA stooge here:

Hermes said...

There have also been rumours, mind you going back a long time, that Varoufakis will be part of a SYRIZA government if they get elected. Note, there were also rumours he was advising Kouvelis last year.

This is all dangerous stuff. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Varoufakis' latest post on his website is the most appalling and irresponsible trash. It highlights the incredible poverty of thought that one has come to expect from the Greek left.

After telling the reader to ignore the Syriza program-because he accepts it is full of gaps and illogicalities- he urges people to nevertheless vote for them because they will lead the world revolt against austerity within the eurozone.

As an economist this twit is really a very accomplished comedian. He has been going around for years telling the world that Merkel and Co will go on giving loan credits to Greece even if Greece says nein danke to austerity.

The crazy thing is he has managed to convince Tsipras and almost 20% of the Greek voting population to believe in this strategy. It now sounds as though, not content with Greece,he expects Syriza will spread the nein danke strategy europe wide after June 17 (a kind of Troskyist permanent revolution).

The problem with Varoufakis and the rest of the Syriza madhouse is that they have no plan B and Merkel and Co know it.

tomouko said...

Hermes and anonymous, Merkel and Co know full well that neither, them (ie Merkel and Co) nor the duopoly that ruled Greece since the time following Kleisthenes, have any plan B either.
It is all plan A: Plunder every inch of the planet!
No need for Syriza to have a plan B. Their plan A will suffice nicely: get rid of the plunderers!
Though, I'm not certain if any political party will be able to see the common, honest Greek (come on, surely, even you will admit that there are some of them around!) out of this dung heap which these kleptocrats have piled upon them but, all power to their right arm. The authority to Govern is an altogether different thing to the power to do so. The former is vested in the common citizen, the latter in the financial elites and these are far more powerful than the commoners. Always have been.
It seems that neither of you have understood properly what Yaroufakis has said on his blog or has being saying for the last three to four years regarding the Euro: It is not a Greek problem. Here, in Australia, he appeared on debates with much tougher economic opponents than you two or me and he emerged the unequivocal victor.

Also, would you not say that, at the very least, it seems somewhat odd that a little country of no more than 11m people has caused the destruction of the economies of countries which, collectively, amount to some 4billion people? Because it isn't simply the 17 nations of the "zone" that are groaning under the lethal weight of this bizarrely, unfairly erected edifice of trade treaties and single, centralist currency but also the rest of Europe, the UK, the USA, China and all their satrapies!

Let's open our eyes a little, shall we and let's lift them a bit above our fears, predilections and biases.

Hermes said...

Varoufakis's logic is so idiotic it begs the question which shitty university has hired him. As Anonymous stated above, Varoufakis's logic is, SYRIZA make no sense but vote for them anyway because they might make sense sometime in the future!!!

Apologies, but one does not gamble on a nation's future. And if any economic dimwit thinks that SYRIZA will not plunder, just look at that other Great Socialist Party, PASOK, did after they got elected in 1981. State ownership, massive wealth distribution, heavy unionisation is always susceptible to plunder. Why do Greeks become seduced with this far Left drivel?

Varoufakis almost always comes off looking like the loser in debates because he is too ideological to debate economics. And trust me, I know many of his former students in Sydney and almost all agree he was a Trotskyist through and through.

The crisis in Greece was caused by Greeks. The broader European and global crisis only made Greece more vulnerable.

tomouko said...

Not at all what Varoufakis has said, Hermes. Go back and read with a little more care. It would save us all the trouble of tiring our eyes with repetition. SYRIZA is certainly not "far left." In fact, on a reasonable scale, it is barely left of centre. You are comparing it with the policies of Ghenghis Khan whom Samaras (and Venizelos) is channeling.
Yes, it is highly possible that Tsipras' boys and girls will do some, possibly even more plundering, than the duopoly have been doing for decades, if not centuries -give or take 400 years under the Ottomans- but I doubt it. The Greek people will lynch them. It is, of course, also possible that all the other fiscal thieves will lynch them but, I'd rather be plundered by this group of thieves who are suddenly brought to the front of the stage than the other lot who hogged the limelight so far.
All this reminds me of the events of '72-'75 here in Australia when, after 33 years of disgustingly ultra-conservative governments, a quasi socialist party was elected. It brought in the best, most egalitarian reforms this country has ever seen. Many of them are still in place, much to the chagrin of the same ultra conservatives. That Govn't, the Labor (uniques spelling) under Gough Whitlam barely lasted 3 years, having been driven to the polls thrice in that time, because it had fewer ministers than Syriza will, if they get elected. It was literally caught unprepared for victory, so great was the wrath of the people!
The conservatives frothed at the mouth at the time and had wheeled out of their dungeon out all their tools of torture, the final being a trashing of the constitution, to rid the country of its first socially progressive, reforming, modern, dignified government.

Why do the Greeks become seduced with this "far left drivel?" Firstly, I'm afraid, they haven't been seduced enough and secondly, if they were, they'd be voting KKE. Thirdly, because they saw the lengths of inhumane treatment that the far right can mete out to them, some of them, first hand!

Hermes said...

Frankly, you are deluded if you think SYRIZA is not far Left. Have you actually read their economic program? Not to mention their immigration and foreign policy ideas?

If you can read Greek then please read this article about how SYRIZA represents nothing new but the old. Tsipras is a Dorian Gray figure. And it is written by a man of the Left, Giorgios Karabelias.

As the article suggests, if you think SYRIZA is progressive, radical, or whatever, then why did all of their key figures vote for the Annan Plan?

tomouko said...

Hermes, I see no evidence whatsoever that the author, Karabelias is anywhere near the left spectrum of politics. (You're not confusing him with Fotis Kouvelis of the Dem. Left, are you?)
It's cute writing and far too cute an analogy to a literary archetype but, no cigars.
Perhaps you could visit right now the ERT TV
and watch some debate. It's live. I watch it religiously. As well, for more TV channels, (rest of Greece as well as world wide) go to:

Anan is a lefty? We're getting a little navigatory here!

tomouko said...

OK. I've just sat down again and had another, closer look at the article. I had not heard of Karabelias before and so, I did a little bit of research, in the process of which, I discovered that one of his articles was analysed by the Australian-Greek magazine, Antipodes, to which many years ago, I contributed, as a maturing "lefty." The mysterious cycle of life!
So, I see what he's doing and I'm not that critical of it. He wants a strong Left but sees this lot of fragmented ideologues who call themselves Left are not so. Certainly a tougher criticism of KKE than of Syriza, though that too, doesn't get too many accolades. I agree; but I don't see that the common Greek is given the ability to elect anyone as sternly Left as Karabelias would please Karabelias. I also think that, even if Tsipras is the mask of the Right, then, the Greeks would have still given the Old Guard a fairly potent message: Get out of the way! Then, perhaps, Syriza would be broadened by the infusion of fresh, young blood, who can see things more clearly. I don't know. Such is the nature of politics. It is a flawed system because it is a system based on human nature.
But one is reminded most vividly, during such circumstances, of an utterance attributed to Einstein which, to paraphrase it, says, "it is the sign of an idiot to be repeating the same action hoping for a different result. In short, to let the same parties rule, expecting to come up with a different outcome would be foolish.
I'm afraid, Karampelias' wish list is even more utopian than that expressed by Paparigas -and mine!

tomouko said...

Quite so, last one, quite so. It is how you come out of a recessions. Alas, when you've no power of sovereignty over your own coin, you cannot apply that tool and are left to the vagaries of the whims of those who do.

John Akritas said...

I find Syriza's – and others' – critique of the way Papandreou et al caved in to the troika compelling because it fits in with my general theory of Greek politics for the last 60 years, which is that it is characterised by defeatism and subservience to foreign interests and governments.

However, Hermes has got to be right when he says that the crisis in Greece was caused by Greeks. This fits in with my theory that what Greece is experiencing is not just an economic crisis, but a political, ethical, social and moral crisis – and that Syriza, its ethos and ideology, is as much a part of this corrupt mess as ND and Pasok.

Hermes said...

Tomouko, the point I was making is that if you think SYRIZA will not plunder, then think again. Behind the clown Tsipras, there are old PASOK and KKE cadres, that are simply waiting to get into (or back into) power. Why do you think SYRIZA want to re-nationalise privatise previously state enterprises and stop the privatization program? It is surely not for the benefit of the average Greek citizen, because if you ask the average Greek citizen of their experience with DEPA, DEKO, OTE and so on, they will tell you the same thing, it is an absolute nightmare!

lastgreek, the intellectual debate in Europe has moved from where it was 12 months ago. The discussion now is more about growth and they are preparing a package to encourage growth. Therefore, it is imperative they remain on the memorandum path but with significant revisions. Obviously, Europe’s austerity-only policies have been an abject failure. However, growth without austerity will result in hyperinflation and many of the malignancies which are so pervasive in the Greek political economy will not be impacted. Things will remain as they are. The business model of Greece will be to consume more than they produce and make up the fiscal and current account deficit with borrowing as they have done for the last 35 years. That is not a sustainable path. Also, it is not just Europeans who have been wrong, let’s not forget that Greece has not implemented most of the Memorandum i.e. liberalizing closed professions. They have failed to adhere to their obligations because a vast number of vested interest groups in the public and private sector are resisting change.

However, if Greece goes down the path of unilaterally rejecting the memorandum, then the situation will get much worse. The support mechanisms for Greece will not be there.

This is a great opportunity to finally grow up. Accept responsibility for our failures and develop an economy that is sustainable for future generations. However, I am afraid that populism is taking over with the help of smooth talking Varoufakis, Tsakalotos etc.

John, everyone from Xrysi Avgi to KKE has criticized Papandreou. SYRIZA is not original in their criticism.

Hermes said...

As this article suggests, there is hardly any reason for Communist parties (KKE) or re-cooked Communist parties (SYRIZA) in Greece because there are hardly any proletariat and there is only a tiny production base. There has to be a social basis for the certain political-economic ideology otherwise they are simply empty slogans often imported from elsewhere with no basis in reality. Panagiotis Kondylis demonstrated this with his eries of books on European thought since the Enlightenment.

Also, there is no real basis for a Left or Right wing divide of such depth because the people who unjustly benefited in Greece over the last 35 years are found across the occupational spectrum. The client-patronage system only sought to get enough vested interest groups on board in order to win elections. They really did not care if those vested interest groups were what are normally considered working class or upper middle class.

As the article suggests, the most radical thing for Greeks to do is to actually start talking about how to rebuild the economy and develop an economic model which is productive and sustainable. SYRIZA offers nothing but more of the same, which unfortunately for them and their utterly confused supporters, the same is not possible because the transfers from Europe will not be forthcoming.

John Akritas said...

Of course, if Syriza does form a government and the EU proceeds to pull the plug and Greece goes down the drain, then this will spell the end of the destructive left in Greece. The ideological hold Syriza has had on Greece will be terminated. Maybe Greece needs to go through this phase – of having the lunatics take over the asylum – before it can truly move on from the metapolitefsi.

Hermes said...

John, that is something I have thought of as well. However, is it necessary to utterly destroy the remaining institutions in Greece to learn this? Can’t Greeks simply look over the border at Albania and Bulgaria to see what sort of a mess they will end up? Does someone need to become a heroin addict to realise the dangers of heroin?

SYRIZA is shaping up as the most conservative government. It wants to return Greece to 1981 without the EU handouts!

John Akritas said...

In this hypothetical and not particularly desirable scenario, H; my feeling is that Syriza comes to power, quickly brings the country to its knees and, before it can do any more damage, disintegrates as a government, allowing more sensible options to take over. Syriza is discredited, the Greek people come to their senses and thus ends this 40-year Greek revolutionary fantasy.

Another scenario is this: ND forms a government with Pasok and, perhaps, DIMAR, with Syriza taking to the streets again to resume its traditional role. Will there continue to be chaos of last three years – strikes, riots, etc – or will the state finally step in, assert its primacy and establish a semblance of law and order? I doubt it.

But, really, I reckon Syriza needs to be removed from the political scene, one way or the other, for Greece to move forward. And I say this not from an ideological point of view – I have some attachment, from an intellectual point of view, for Marxist critiques of society – but from a pragmatic, objective perspective.

John Akritas said...

Just to add: like tomouko I've been watching the debates from Greece on NET and MEGA news, on NET Week, on the programme Nikos Evangelatos does on SKAI, and my impression is that Pasok is exhausted, ND has been appallingly led by Samaras and Syriza is composed of a bunch of fascists.

John Akritas said...

Syriza has got where it is today through encouraging violence, lawlessness and terrorism. I can't see 'level-headed, intelligent, agile-minded' people. I see fantasists and fanatics, expressing all the wild-eyed certainty of the crude and callow student activist. And nothing illustrates this more than this belief Syriza has that if the EU calls its bluff over the memorandum, then Syriza will appeal to the solidarity of the European people!!! This, T, is Cloud Cuckoo Land.

But if you like your European leftists, you might like Slavoj Zizek's speech to a Syriza gathering last week – Towards the end, he makes a nice reference to Antigone.

Hermes said...

lastGreek, we have already discussed Varoufakis before. He only makes sense to people that want to return Greece to 1981. And Greece is borrowing at higher rates than Germany because they are a higher sovereign risk.

There are many other Greek economists, try reading them.

Hermes said...

Try reading this lastGreek:

However, I am certain you will not bother. Like all fanatics, you have made up your mind and regardless of the truckload of evidence and strength of argument, nothing will change your mind.