A panel session with: Stathis Kouvelakis (Kings College London, French Department) and Stergios Skaperdas (UC Irvine, Economics).
The smashing electoral victory in January 2015 of the new radical left party Syriza has brought the long simmering economic-political crisis in Greece to a boiling point. Syriza is demanding relief from its debts and the cancellation of the deep austerity measures it was obliged to accept as conditions for being bailed out. The Troika, administering the bailout and composed of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Commission, is demanding that Syriza fulfill what it sees as Greece’s obligations, delineated in the so-called Memoranda. To provide background on the current impasse, the speakers will spell out the sources of the Greek economic crisis and analyze the intense social struggles that have gripped the Greek polity in its wake. To help us understand what is likely to happen next, they will explain the thinking of Germany and the other European states in imposing their neoliberal program of social welfare cuts, privatizations, and anti-trade union reforms on the Greek population and outline, in turn, the policies and strategies that the Greek political left is adopting to break the grip on the Greek political economy exercised by trans-European economic elites in cooperation with domestic social democratic and right wing parties.