You are invited to attend:
The Greek Drama of 2015: What Next?
a talk by Nicholas Levis
to be followed by discussion at a meeting
of the Occupy Wall Street group on Alternative Banking
Sunday, September 13, 2015
2:00 - 5:00pm
International Affairs Building,Columbia University, Manhattan
Entrance at 118th Street and Amsterdam, Room 409
Nicholas Levis is a Greek-American author, editor and translator.
A history scholar who has been active in the
Greece Solidarity Movement (AKNY) for years,
he spent the summer of 2015 in Greece.
The one-hour talk starts promptly at 2.
A meeting of the Occupy Wall Street group on Alternative Banking and Financial Issues follows.
During that time there will also be further Q&A on Greece. All are invited to drinks at 5.
The event Facebook page is here.
Nicholas Levis outlines his talk below:
The preliminary report of the parliamentary Truth Committee on Public Debt (download it here) declared the entire Greek sovereign debt to be odious, unethical, unsustainable and illegal. Are they serious? Do they have a case?
Right after this report was presented in June, as the attempts to negotiate with the brick wall of the Troika (the country's international creditors, ECB, IMF and EU) failed, the radical left government seemed to be preparing for a rupture with the Eurozone and its forced austerity regimes.
If you're on Facebook, you can access my series of real-time reports on how this developed over the next months.
As the clock ran out on the negotiations led by Yanis Varoufakis, prime minister Alexis Tsipras called the Greek people to vote yes or no in a referendum on the Troika's proposal for a new "memorandum" (as the debt service agreements forced on Greece since 2010 are called).
The European Central Bank responded by suspending liquidity for Greek banks, forcing them to shut down for weeks. A week after this act of financial war, and despite an enormous pro-YES campaign by all of the country's private media, 62% of the voters chose OXI (No!) to the new austerity regime.
But then, in a matter of days, the leftist government moved to undo that vote. Backing away from the promises that got them elected back in January, they said they were being a) blackmailed into accepting the unacceptable by overwhelming force, b) had no alternative [since adoption of the drachma would destroy the nation] and c) hoped to be the better managers of a more humane austerity.
After a series of bruising parliamentary votes, an even harsher austerity program has been forced through than that which the voters rejected. And Syriza is now split, with hundreds if not thousands of its members and officials calling for "OXI to the End" and moving to the new-newest left party, Popular Unity (LAE).
What should we expect from the new constellation of power as elections loom in just 10 days? Is a break with the politics of deflation and neoliberalism still possible? What does this mean for the rest of the EU, and for the struggles beyond?