What can the Corbynistas learn from Syriza?

Unkovski-Korica, Vladimir
Date Written:  2017-07-02
Publisher:  Counterfire
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21185

As a Corbyn government seems more and more likely, there are clear lessons to be drawn from the Greek experience.



The right has failed to win a convincing majority and faces chaotic negotiations with the European Union. The left has advanced and is the government in waiting. The centre has collapsed. Sound familiar?

Sure, it's Britain in 2017, but it was also Greece in June 2012. There, like in the UK now, the right cobbled together a coalition. This coalition hobbled on until an early election brought Syriza to power in January 2015. Syriza consolidated its victory in a further election in September 2015.

There are of course differences between the two countries and situations, but there is enough similarity to ask whether the movement around Corbyn has any lessons to learn. After all, Syriza's first victory was a spectacular victory of the movement against austerity in Greece.

However, Syriza's time in government proved deeply disappointing. Despite winning a referendum in July 2015 by an overwhelming margin with over 61 percent of the vote, Syriza quickly capitulated to the demands of its foreign creditors. It ended up continuing to impose austerity much like its predecessors.

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