Talk:Wikinews interviews spokesman for Greek far-left party Xekinima

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OR notes[edit]

The background information is taken from the following paragraph Petros supplied when I asked for a little bit of background on himself:

"My name is Petros Tzomakas, and I'm a member of Xekinima (Greek section of CWI) which is a part of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) as well as the PA.S.E.E.P.Y union (panhellenic union for workers in companies providing services). I am also on the local 5th Athens Municipa District commitee, a joint effort of SyRizA, AntArSyA and other parties against the new auserity measures (the only non-participant is the KKE which by default doen not cooperate with any other left forces)." I will forward that email to Scoop.

The paragraph in the lead starting The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece... is readily available background info which should all be in the related news article.

The interview itself was done by telephone. I am currently processing my notes, since in current form they are garbled and understandable only to me. Most of the notes are verbatim quotes. I will paste these here in full when I am done. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:11, 3 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

I have completed working with my notes for all but the last two questions. The last two I sent in an email to avoid running up my phone bill even higher. I am awaiting his response. When that comes in, I will paste both my notes and his email in the space below, and forward his email to scoop. If you want to know how I'd heard that the Greek's were concerned about the euro value compared to the Drachma, that's from socialising with Greeks during my recent stay in Rhodes (which was extended courtesy of Iceland). Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:17, 3 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Alright, Petros has mailed me his responses to the last two questions. So, first my notes for the stuff before:

How are you doing today?

We are coping; we’re looking at numbers and digits and how theyre tearing us apart.

Has slavish pursuit of free-market capitalism been the cause of Europe, and particularly Greece's, economic woes? How, given the Soviet collapse, and China being communist in name only, would your vision of a communist or at least a socislist system have been better for the majority of citizens?

Given current circumstances I think the main goal should be to nationalise means of production and services such as banks but but under democratic control by unions and local councils wher it effects local econmies and re-elect local represetatives where needed.

There is a necessitiy for a planned economy but one controlled not by buerocracy but by the people participating in it.

For right or for wrong, we have now reached a situation where Greece is on the brink of an international bailout. If you were given power tomorrow, what steps would you take immediately to get Greece back on track?

We would immediately nationslise the banks. We would refuse to pay the bonds which were called upon durin this time, renationalise privatised industries and invest in such a planned economy.

Basically, we would refuse to pay debts created by the banks on our government.

Defense exp:

5th in world expend world but 28th gdp and 73rd pop count

Picking up on your comments about defense expenditure: Is that defense expenditure a result of a perceived threat from Turkey, and if so, is this really an issue or a creation of a problem where there isn’t one?

There has always been tension between the governments of Greece and Turkey, some created by attempts 2 cover mistakes by both sides. It is no coincidence that both are in dire straits financially.

It is an artificial thing created by government. Of course these thngs can escalate; both Greece and Turkey have a policy of arms buildup. We recently had the sledgehammer controversy in Turkey where they planned to create incidents within Greece in an effort to seize power.

Also, many high-ranking army officers have been prosecuted in turkey for trying to seize power in a coup.

Why do you oppose the current austerity measures? What has the government, in your view, got so wrong?

The government in its effort to pay back banks and in fact to pay back interest on loans has already paid, in some cases twice the original loan at high interest rates.

They’re trying to grab as much money as they can and we know for a fact that’s also on the orders of the greek capitalist class.

They are reducing the worker’s rights for more money and this actually leads to poverty. Greece will be in guaranteed recession for 2 years and hopes then to create a 0.1% gdp rise. That will be very hard.

We know from a variety of statistics that the working class will be made to pay around 35% of the current GDP.

Consuming will go to standstill so that in two years time debt will rise from 120% of current GDP to 150% GDP and people will suffer. We know all the loans, just like the previous loans, will be siphoned off by business and will not go into Greek coffers. It will go instead to lining the pockets of big business.

I have heard that people in Greece are upset that the euro has weakened Greece’s economic position, as the Drachma’s low value actually encouraged spending by foreigners. What steps would a socialist government take to encourage new spending in Greece by both foreign tourists and investors?

A socialist government could actualy work if other economies and other people would follow Greece’s steps. Greece would then be a self-sufficient economy and not need these investments. Of course we once had these investments, through the tourism industry, and they didn’t work.

This is whether with the new currency of the euro or the old. The government is seriously thinking of relapse right now which would be a disaster because it would be so devalued. It would possibly even go into a tailspin of devaluation.

The possbilities are grossly underestimated in Greece and not enough investments are made in these possibilities.

Tourism is the main industry in Greece because there is little cost needed in investments, and it doesn’t need a very big infrastructure.

Any infastructure that was needed has been left to abandonment by both [the last two] governments, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and New Democracy. A visitor can see and understand this by the shape ships and ferries are in and the way facilities are lacking.

And his email response to the last two:

How do you respond to the assertion that 'democracy is the least-worst of all the political systems tried'? Would the Greek communists accept a multi-party system where some parties would be stridently advocating free-market economics?

One of the difficulties people face when seeking answers about a better political system is the black-and-white approach of ideas and names. True, democracy is a necessary principle, but there are vast differences between eg. a bourgeoise democracy and a socialist democracy...

Also especially in Greece, the term "communist" is used by many in the left, it's almost a synonym. The majority of the left would strongly disagree with a one-party model. The stalinist leaderships -what erroneously most people call "communists"- would probably desire such a system, but no-one would advocate such a demand today. The only political forces that everyone in the left agrees that should be banned are those of the ultra-right, with racist and fascist agendas, and this because they stand against the principles of democracy in any case...As we can see however throughout Europe and in history the capitalist system needs such "allies" especially in times of crisis. In Greece for instance the ultra-right populist La.O.S party has proven itself an invaluable ally of PaSoK in supporting the most vicious anti-labour measures, suppression of workers' rights, even a "no-questions-asked" policy of currency depositing that would favor money-laundering for illegal trades such as narcotics or human trafficking. In the mean time it tries to put the blame for the crisis caused by the financial system on scapegoats such as the immigrant and refugee populations...

If people had a fair and unbiased view of what a planned economy under democratic control could offer I believe that free-market advocates would be marginalized by the working class internationally, with no call for suppression which can lead to dangerous paths!

You mentioned in your email to me that the KKE does not co-operate with the rest of the nation’s left-wing community. Why is this? Does this split confuse potential voters about who to support?

Unfortunately the un-democratic stalinist traditions and practices of the KKE are deeply-rooted in the Greek CP-one has only to read the analysis of their last congress to see this. Therefore the KKE cannot stand in coalitions as an equal to other opinions. The current leadership of the KKE not only refuses to collaborate with the rest of the left but treats it as a class enemy, on the pretext that Synaspismos (the largest faction in the SYRIZA coalition) voted for the "Maastricht Treaty". This became more obvious during the December 2008 uprising where it denounced the youth as "agent provocateurs that seak to destabilize the country manipulating the masses to violence" and that SyRizA was "harboring vandals and criminal elements", earning shameful congratulations from the government and the far-right...Also the KKE through its union front P.A.ME. refuses to collaborate with other unions in industrial action except general strikes, and then always with separate demonstrations and rallies. This behaviour however has not gone unnoticed by the rank-and-file members, and there is sizable discontent with this hardline approach. The only thing that holds them is traditional strict party discipline and the occasional weaknesses of SyRIzA in terms of less militant, and more reformist positions projected by Synaspismos...In both cases, we expect to see developments that will answer to the indeed-confused public that does not give mass support to the left mostly because of disappointment over sectarianism, lack of militancy and larger demands rather than disagreement on principles...

Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:04, 3 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Review of revision 1010748 [Passed][edit]