By: Tesha Teshanovic
Dimitrios Papageorgiou and Joshua Tartakovsky: Syriza – Fraud or Savior of Greece?
In order to give a picture of the moment, we decided to interview two people with opposing views on Syriza. The first one is Dimitrios Papageorgiou, a Greek right wing journalist from Athens, the second one is Joshua Tartakovsky, an independent left wing journalist and film maker from Jerusalem.
What are your comments on the victory of Syriza at this elections?
Dimitrios Papageorgiou: It was something bound to happen. The New Democracy’s government had all the aspects of a government that was going to soon crumble. And since the socialist party is almost non-existent nowadays, a big part of it is part of SYRIZA now, it was the only logical assumption that they too would gain power at some point.
Joshua Tartakovsky: The victory of Syriza has immense ramifications for Greece, Europe and even the world. For the first time in Greek history, a party that is truly on the Left, combining Communist, Socialist and Green elements, won the elections in Greece.
It should be remembered that it was the so-called socialist PASOK of George Papandreou, that agreed to the bail-out plans laid out by the Troika, which entailed austerity for the Greek people while the center-right party, New Democracy, continued this path. This austerity meant, in real terms, decline in wages, pensions being cut by 40%, the economy shrinking by 26%, wages declining, prices rising, and the government cutting down on health and education.
The Greek people saw no future in sight with austerity and recession,and if there is one place where neoliberal capitalism clearly failed, it is in Greece. Therefore, the Greek people decided to vote for a party that offered hope, writing off citizens debt, providing electricity for those who cannot pay and expanding the public sector, while, of course, ending austerity. The victory of Syriza is a radical change from business as usual in Greece. In a country where a military dictatorship was once the norm, and where the Greek Communists were massacred and betrayed by pro-Nazi collaborators and by Winston Churchill in 1945, a party whose many of its members comes from the Communist tradition is finally in power. Continue reading