Greece shows why we have to change Europe, not walk away

Marina Prentoulis, a senior lecturer in Politics and Media at the University of East Anglia, and a spokesperson for Syriza in the UK explains why even after what happened to Greece it would be wrong to campaign for Britain to leave

1st December 2015

oxidemoFor the last six months Syriza has fought to change the neoliberal, divisive policies dominating the Eurozone and to put an end to the catastrophic consequences of austerity imposed on the lower and middle classes of the people of EU. The ‘forced’ agreement reached in July 2015 confirmed that the irrational and unjust doctrines of neoliberalism have now eroded European institutions. It is this agreement however that has increased our determination, our resolve and the urgency with which we have to fight in order to divert the EU from the destructive path it has taken. We have not been defeated: our ‘yes’ to Europe is not the product of compliance. On the contrary, it is a ‘yes’ to a Europe defined by its founding principles: democracy, social justice and equality; it is a ‘yes’ to change and return to these principles. We can achieve this change through the creation of a united front of the people of Europe, demanding the control of our political, social and economic institutions.

Our common struggle has to take place simultaneously, on different social levels: On the European level, we have to create cross- European party alliances in order to oppose the destruction of the EU. On the level of national politics, we have to remove the neoliberal, pro-austerity governments of Europe. On the grassroots level, we have to create a pan-European anti-austerity movement.

Greece has been the victim that exposed the true state of the current EU: the combined debt of the EU countries is increasing, inequality is widening, democracy has been subordinated to the neoliberal financial institutions, nationalism, fascism and xenophobia are on the rise. The problems faced by Greece, Spain, Italy and other European countries, are symptomatic of existing structural deficiencies. The populations of these countries have been impoverished and generations of young unemployed Europeans are doomed to a bleak future.

In this context, the progressive forces of Europe have to unite in order to enter a war against the neo-liberal, anti European forces that threaten the unity of our continent. During the negotiations the masks have fallen and their dystopian vision has been exposed: working for a ‘two’ speed EU, what they are actually planning is the creation of a protectorate within the EU, a protectorate subordinated to the interests of international capital leading to the destruction of our social and political life, our rights, our environment. Our ‘yes’ is the promise that we will not allow the destruction of Europe.