ΣΥΝΕΝΤΕΥΞΗ ΣΤΟ ΣΛΟΒΑΚΙΚΟ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΙΚΟ TYZDEN

Συνέντευξη στη δημοσιογράφο Marina Galisova. www.tyzden.sk

Στη συνέντευξη αυτή σχολιάζω την εθνολαικιστική φιλοσοφία του Σύριζα και τις πιθανότητες συμβιβασμού με την ΕΕ. Απαντώ και στην ερώτηση για την πιθανή διάσπαση του Σύριζα. 

 
How is Syriza trying to sell the fact, that it basically changed course in its dealings with the EU, to its electorate?
'For the past five years Syriza  has had a simple message to the electorate: Greece's problems are due to 'neoliberal' capitalism or the result of the EU's hostile attitude and Germany's obsession with austerity. This was not true, of course, but many people wanted to believe it. In January Syriza promised an immediate end to the bailout deal, an end to the 'troika', an end to austerity, a withdrawal of all painful reforms and a halt to privatisations, while at the same time reassuring the electorate that Greece would nevertheless be staying in the Eurozone. These promises were extravagant and irresponsible, because there was no money to support them. Syriza has now performed a spectacular u-turn and within weeks of its election has embraced practically all of the commitments of the previous government (which it has accused of being pro-German and anti-Greek). It has just  secured the extension of the programme, which only last week Tsipras promised in parliament he would never do. Its response so far is to pretend this is not happening. There is no admission of a change of course. Their official spokesman is presenting a parallel universe, where Europe was defeated and the end of austerity is only around the corner. Most of the media simply reproduce this - that this was not a humiliating defeat for the government and for Tsipras personally. The opposition says that the Government has abandoned all its promises, but this seems normal partisanship, so Syriza's supporters hear it with scepticism. It's actually rather scary to observe how effective the Goverrnment's surreal media campaign has been. 
 
How are the people who voted for Syriza and hoped for a major change, reacting now?
 
I think people are waiting to see what this all means. It's hard to take in what has just happened. It's an incredible change. You also have to realise that most of the larger media are controlled by oligarchs who are afraid they may lose their illegal television licenses (all the licenses are illegal). So they do not want to antagonise this government - or any government for that matter. This is, I think, why criticism from the larger media has so far been very muted.  Yet, sooner or later it will all sink in, and Tsipras will ave to take responsibility for what he did this week but also over the last five years. He will also have to take new austerity measures, raise taxes, adjust pensions or privatise public assets. His supporters will then find out they have been cheated. It will not be a pretty sight when this happens. But this is how democracy works.
 
What would you say is the future of this government and Syriza as a party - will it be able to withstand pressure or will it split?
For the time being Syriza is united by power. Many of the most extreme nationalists and anti-EU supporters within Syriza and their coalition partner, the far Right Inedependent Greeks, have been given ministerial positions. They seem to enjoy their new life, so for the time being they have remained silent in the hope that people do nbot notice. So the government may survive for a few months or even years. My view, though, is that reality always catches up with spin. Whether or not it splits, within three to five years Syriza''s support will collapse. Syriza is a populist and nationalist movement whose main message has been hostility to the EU and hostility to any reform. Now that it has become obvious its criticisms of the EU ballout were all empty rhetoric, that reform is necessary if we are to stay in the Eurozone and that all its promises for easy money were false from the start, its support will ebb away. Syriza has betrayed everything it stood for within weeks of its election.  
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