Pierre Laurent: “It is the time for the construction of credible political alternatives"
Athens, the city that will host the next meeting of the Executive Board of the Party of the European Left (EL) this weekend, was the place chosen for a public debate between the direction of the EL and Syriza, represented by the Coordinator of its group in the Parliament. The debate aimed to present the EL initiatives and how to work together, in almost a pre-election context in Greece. Everything suggests an early election at the latest in April, with the electoral polls giving a resounding victory to Syriza, with 36% of the vote. The seating capacity was almost complete, with the ambassador of Venezuela in Greece and several members of Syriza among the public. The interest, amount and quality of the interventions of the assistance extended the debate for three hours.
Pierre Laurent explained that the EL has done a great deal of work to demonstrate the harm of the austerity policies as well as their consequences, something that is now recognized throughout the world. He said that now "it's time to move on to the construction of political alternatives".
It will be done with "credible" proposals for the social and economic revival through public investment, job creation policies and industrialization of economy in an ecological and sustainable way. In short, it is about building the foundations of "a transition to a new model of development".
The president of the EL recalled that in the last congress of the EL, in December of last year in Madrid, it was decided to advance in the capture of initiatives, as was the presentation of a common candidacy to the European Commission with the target to crystallize the debate and credibility of the alternatives of the Party of the European Left.
Today the economic, social and political situation, far from improving, moves towards a new economic recession and a threat of deflation in all Europe, explained Laurent. But the acceleration that is taking place, and that will continue next year, is done at two levels: on the one hand, the acceleration of the crisis; and on the other hand, the growth of the possibilities of reaction.
Forum of Alternatives
In that sense, the priority target of the EL is to work on the construction of the political convergence which is able to carry out alternative programs, “a convergence for a new stage”, as Laurent defined. For this goal, the Forum of the Alternatives, which the EL will celebrate in Paris in May 2015, will play a key role. This Forum is been organised with the ambition of joining the political, social and Union forces that can recognize themselves with our line of work, in order to elaborate specify alternatives.
Others of the main initiatives introduced by the EL-president were the reinforcement of the European campaign against the TTIP “to fail the negotiations fail and prevent its signature”; to extend the campaign in defence of the rights of the women, “that has already obtained the first victory in Spain”; and a strong campaign for the peace, like a central axe, opposing to the danger of the economic wars that are increasing and threaten to turn into a global war.
From the Greek capital, and with the expectation of a next Government led by Syriza, Pierre Laurent, said that when this victory takes place "it will be a victory for all the European left, which has to encourage the battle across Europe".
About that point, the Vice President of the EL, Maite Mola, insisted that "the left has to be in the street supporting Tsipras, but for achieving that we must build it from now, on the bases of the struggle and work in common".
With this idea on mind, the Party of the European Left is working on the preparation of a European meeting of the South with all political forces that are against austerity. Mola explained that it is all about creating a platform able to take strong and common alternative decisions, because "it is the moment for the unity of all ideas struggling against the right and social-democracy who are practicing social-liberalist policies".
Mola, also spoke of the importance of defending peace, "because if we, the left, do not defend it, nobody else will do so" specifying that it does not only involve to the political left but also to social and trade union left.
The EL-vice president urged the audience to engage in the campaign against the “still-very unknown TTIP” (Transatlantic trade) and go out to the street to explain it as militants of the cause. Finally, she raised the need to work from the EL on the right of work of women, one of the major victims of this crisis, a big problem which affects 50% of the population.
The coordinator of the parliamentary group of Syriza,Nikos Voutsis, submitted a diagnose of the situation in Greece after these years of violent austerity policies and explained that now it is time to do the counterattack from the whole alternative left that works against the politics of austerity, the degradation of the democracy and the restriction of the rights, “an alliance of the left that must be based on our common values”.
As an example of that unit he exposed the reinforcement of Syriza which has managed to join forces with different points of view but working in the same direction. He argued that there will be ideological differences but appel for “confidence that will allow us to have a political majority in the next election, with a program of bases, such as debt negotiation”. They key, said the Coordinator of the Group of Syriza in the Greek Parliament, is "to get the power, not only the governance".
Athens, October 31st 2014