ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Greece, Its International Creditors and the Euro

Can the Syriza government in Greece maintain an impossible triangle: (1) stay in power, (2) reverse austerity, and (3) stay in the euro? It will all depend on whether the European Union sees itself as a progressive ethical project of civilisation based on liberal market principles or as an anti-democratic imperialist project of international finance capital.

On 25 January, Syriza won the Greek elections but fell two seats short of the 151 seats it needed to form the government on its own. Subsequently, it formed a coalition government with the 13-seat Anel party the next morning. Syriza (an acronym of Synaspismós Rizospastikís Aristerás) is a coalition of the radical left as its Greek name indicates. Anel (Independent Greeks) is a conservative nationalist party which opposes austerity. Alexis Tsipras is now the Prime Minister of Greece whereas the economist Yanis Varoufakis is the current finance minister.

Since the formation of the new government in Greece, Europe is in flames and the world is watching. Consequently, Tsipras, Varoufakis, the European Union (EU), the Eurogroup and the Troika have become household names. (The “Troika” consists of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).) The EC is the executive body of the EU. The Eurogroup is a conference of finance ministers of the 19 euro area (eurozone) member-states for the discussion of matters related to the euro.

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