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Syriza in Greece: Neo-Liberals in Disguise: Is Tsipras the EU's Last Chance? Eyewitness Reports (Patriotic Left) (Volume 3) Paperback – February 6, 2014
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This is a polemical text, pure and simple. The author has a definite bias and comments on the political situation with a definite agenda. Gelis, the author, constantly makes reference to the “fake-left” political parties in Greece, Syriza included, but at the same time he is obviously mortified by the impact of the austerity measures imposed on Greece by the Troika (the IMF, World Bank, and European Central Bank). Thus, it is difficult to place the author’s political position or what is his agenda in publishing this book. More importantly, his objectivity is thereby in question, as well as why he believes Syriza is a neo-liberal political party.
Gelis recognizes that there are pragmatic and ideological wings to Syriza, and I believe he calls Syriza a neo-liberal political party because he confuses the day-to-day realities of politics, with all of the attendant give and take, as a total sell-out to its ideological roots.
This book is valuable in providing information not commonly known. The attention span of the Western World ends with Italy, and news from Greece do not surface unless the interests of Western Europe (and the United States) may be implicated. This is why the only stories making it the evening news has been the financial troubles of Greece and the austerity measures implemented by the Troika.
Gelis’ book provides a fuller picture. Gazi provides a horrific, day-by-day account of strikes, demonstrations, mobilizations, and other direct actions, many of which are violently put down by the police. CNN will broadcast the demonstrations, violent or not, and battles with police, but do not broadcast instances, many of which are described in this book, of police riots to otherwise peaceful demonstrations or assassinations. Gelis’ book does.
Gelis’ book also provides a clue to the ferocity of the austerity measures imposed by the Troika. During the late 80s many of the industries in Greece, foreign and domestic, were nationalized by PASOK.
Greeks are conspiratorial by nature.. This book offers a fascinating look at the Byzantine world of Greek politics.
This otherwise meaningful account is undercut by the author’s implied representation that the cause of this turmoil is Syriza, which, the author appears to imply, has been groomed to take over by the other political parties in Greece because they simply no longer want to govern over this mess.
The book has a definite ad hoc character. At times, the book appears to be thrown together from various websites from the internet, personal diaries and newspaper stories. This book does not read as a conventional history but reads like a reality show, the only problem this is a story about consequential matters, not a frivolous romp with a celebrity. Strangely, the manner in which the events are recounted adds to the drama and immediacy of events, particularly appropriate for the anguish the Greek nation is experiencing now.
In many ways this is a story in progress, and the final resolution, such as it will be, is as yet, unknown. PASOK, a socialist party, instituted many much-needed changes and ushered Greece into the Twentieth Century, but was ultimately corrupted and did more harm than good. So the author’s tagline that Syriza is a neo-liberal party, while on its face lubricious, ... only time will tell.