Writing in Open Democracy, Vassilis K. Fouskas, co-author of The Fall of the US Empire: Global Fault-Lines and the Shifting Imperial Order, analyses the Greek political landscape following the elections. He argues that the emerging centre-right coalition will govern on a fragile basis:
…the austerity in the periphery will continue, the result being new popular mobilisations and social upheaval. The political bloc of the Right in Greece will govern on the basis of the programme dictated by the ‘troika’ (IMF, ECB, EU) in the hope of achieving a primary (budgetary) surplus, so that the country could default officially within the Eurozone. But this requires additional austerity, more taxation and wage cuts, more borrowing, in other words, a vicious circle of debt proliferation, unemployment and GDP contraction.
Fouskas argues that the radical left party Syriza will be well placed to further increase its support:
In less than three years, its voting bloc rose from 4,6% (2009) to 16,5% (6 May 2012) to 27% (17 June 2012). This is a spectacular political and social course unparalleled in Greece’s and Europe’s post-war history and it is not going to stop. Now Syriza will have 71 MPs within the 300-seat Greek parliament. It is the strongest radical left party in Europe and has created solidarity networks and popular assemblies across the country. In all likelihood, it will form a shadow cabinet challenging every specific policy measure taken by the right-wing bloc and its foreign patrons in office.
Given the stress Germany faces from every corner, the likelihood is that a fully-fledged implementation of the bailout programme will bring about a disorderly exit of Greece from the Eurozone, a scenario that should not be considered as unlikely. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: Syriza will further increase its voting power.
Visit Open Democracy to read the article in full.
Global Fault-Lines and the Shifting Imperial Order
Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay
Looks at the debates amongst critical theorists about the decline of US power.
“A major addition to the literature on the decline of US hegemony. Avoids cheap polemics and shows balanced, even prudent, judgement. In addition, it offers a sophisticated survey of grand theories of capitalism including those of Fernand Braudel, Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi, and Robert Brenner.” – Professor Donald Sassoon, Comparative European History, Queen Mary University of London
“It is widely agreed that the current crisis in the capitalist economies is the worst since the 1930s. But in this timely book, Fouskas and Gokay suggest that the financial disarray reflects the beginning of the end of the US Empire and a decisive shift of power to the ‘Global East’. Their argument is both stimulating and challenging.” – Michael Newman