• SYRIZA’s Visit to Brazil and Argentina
  • Austerity in Southern Europe Could Lead to a Resurgence of Global Recession

  • By Andreas Karitzis | 28 Jan 13 | Posted under: Greece
  • The recent SYRIZA-USF formal visit to Brazil and Argentina has offered the opportunity to meet government officials, leaders of left parties supporting governments as well as left-wing opposition parties, representatives of unions, left movements, but also intellectuals, academics, artists and Greeks of the Diaspora.

    [nl] There were more meetings than initially expected, with meetings and talks with the heads of government of the visited countries (President of Brazil, President of Argentina, ex-President of Brazil, Vice-President of Argentina) exceeding our expectations and highlighting the importance of this visit.

    During our stay in South America we were honoured to participate at events organized by various groups and organizations on the occasion of our visit. SYRIZA-USF had the opportunity to give a significant number of interviews to TV-stations, newspapers and magazines.

    SYRIZA-USF gave information about the economic, political and social conditions in Greece, and presented our evaluation of the situation in Europe and, especially, in the European South, marked by the policies of austerity. We presented the guidelines of our strategy and the struggle of the Greek people against the brutally imposed Memoranda of austerity and neoliberal policy.

    During our stay we had the opportunity to strengthen ties with left parties and movements in both countries and also to exchange views and proposals for coordinating action, which, despite long distances separating our countries, is essential when facing a global capitalist crisis and a widespread social crisis internationally.

    However, the most significant outcome of this visit is the experience, precious information and political ambience during meetings with authorities and representatives of different views, regarding the current situation in South American countries and the European South. Political conclusions have yet to be drawn, also a re-evaluation and comparison of the collected experience has to be undertaken, in combination with our previous analysis, concerning the real situation in these regions. We will be in the position then to present a comprehensive analysis of their geopolitical role etc. However, I would like to take the opportunity to share some thoughts on the occasion of this visit.

    What is very encouraging is the fact that we met with government authorities sharing the same views on the causes of the economic crisis.

    Solidarity and support for Greece was expressed in all meetings, together with the conviction that common ground exists, along with the convergence of views regarding the halting of the austerity policies in Europe and the existence of a popular front, opposed to the subordination of societies to the law of the “markets”. Specifically, there was a convergence of views regarding the danger from the implementation of austerity strategies, imposed in the European South, which could lead to a worldwide recession, threatening the social advances, like those reached by the people of South American countries, which attempted to follow an alternative meta-neoliberal model.

    Furthermore, during meetings with officials and social movements we had the chance to discuss thoroughly issues concerning methods and programs adopted in Latin America in order to face acute social problems which resulted from IMF-intervention and the neoliberal policies “storm”. It is indeed a meta-neoliberal healing effort in process – with its own problems and restrictions – to put at the core of this new model work, the social state and the reorganization of the production process. Economic recovery is no longer perceived as the antipode of dignified living and public wealth as is the case in neoliberal orthodoxy; it is rather organically combined with making peoples’ lives better at all levels. 

    In addition, we had the chance to realize that the governments, the political parties and the social movements (despite their differences) are engaged in a constant race against the bankers, the “markets” and the local and international speculators in order to prevent privatizations and to protect democracy from threats directed by powerful media giants. This was an important validation of what we had already pointed to, that if a left government takes power, this will not be the end but just the beginning of a constant battle aiming at the re-occupation of the public space and the establishment of the power of the people. Everyone was determined not to allow the restoration of the atypical dictatorship of the neoliberal markets which may be a direct threat to society and Democracy.

    Another major point in all our discussions was the importance of the procedure of the regional integration of Latin America in order to maintain the sovereignty of the people against the markets and the USA, as no one can be truly free if there are still subordinate peoples. 

    To conclude, in these countries which were freed (to a certain degree) from the IMF’s dictatorship, what seems to dominate ever since is a process towards the restoration of democracy and peoples’ power. The overall progress of society, the budget setting, the basic financial choices, are the concerns of this democracy and its relevant social correlations. The belief in public politics is not a left “obsession” but a conviction which penetrates the entire political world.


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