1300 SYRIZA executives who co-signed a text entitled “Exit Left” are “throwing” fire against the President of SYRIZA Stefanos Kasselakis.
The text in question “attacks” Stefanos Kasselakis who likens him to an “owner” and not a President, saying that “SYRIZA cannot be the thuggery and the brazenness of an owner’s spirit that decides “whoever disagrees, leave”.
“It is all of us who founded it, believed in it, promoted it as a contender for the government, a refuge for the many, for those “from below”, an opponent of the extreme right-wing populism that is on guard”, it states, among other things
In addition, it highlights the issues of orientation and identity of the official opposition party that have arisen recently.
The text is co-signed by, among others, the nine members of the “Umbrella” who participate in the Political Secretariat, former MPs and party officials from all over the country, such as:
- Andreas Xanthos
- Panos Skourletis
- Euclid Tsakalotos
- Nikos Philis
- Kostas Athanasiou
- Nikos Voutsis
- Anneta Kavadia
- Efi Kalamaras
- Katerina Knitou
- Panos Lambrou
- Harris Matsuoka
- Maria Gatsouka (Emeritus Professor, University of the Aegean)
Full text intervention:
We, who sign this text, members of SYRIZA-PS, members with a shorter or longer journey in the radical and renewing Left but also members who joined recently and even in times of electoral defeat and political retreat, are deeply worried and worried about the present and mainly for the future of our party. We all realize that SYRIZA-PS is on the run. Until recently, many of us harbored the hope or delusion that a legitimate and institutionally guaranteed confrontation was taking place within SYRIZA, which could be resolved through collective democratic processes. A common denominator in our concerns today is the collective sense that we belong to a party that tends not to be, on any political grounds, associated with the Left. Everything we knew about the character and social priorities of SYRIZA is changing, changing violently and unilaterally.
@ Despite all this, or precisely for all that we live, the way out is Left. To deal with:
The bitterness and disappointment from the double electoral defeat of SYRIZA in May-June 2023. A defeat that should have been followed by the collective search for the causes, to draw up the strategy of withdrawal, but it was succeeded by concern and anger at the denial of expectation. Emotions spread among the members and friends of SYRIZA, especially after the problematic development of the presidential election, regardless of how they manage them.
The resignation trends and departures, which are intensifying every day now that a cycle of electoral contests is closing with the discouraging results of the self-governing elections for SYRIZA. And we can no longer watch them passively.
@ Our belief that there is a way out is not an obsession, it is a life attitude, our own tried and tested way to resist and overthrow the dominance of the Right, the threat of the extreme right, the inequalities that grow, the discriminations that solidify.
It is not because this is how we used to be from long ago, but because this is what today’s needs, today’s disputes, everyday problems and modern global threats, current contradictions demand.
Because this is the only way we can hope and envision, plan from today the change that society and our lives need, socialism with freedom and democracy.
@ Developments refute daily even the most well-intentioned moods:
Due to the unacceptable changes in the statute, which we also failed to prevent, even though we fought and many and many voted against them, the process of electing the president had an operatic ending, which is developing into a drama of the total transformation of SYRIZA into an unformed leading party, with mercy god-like president, source of all powers, who exercises leadership “directly” without feeling the need to convene the elected collective party bodies.
The self-evident request for an account and assessment of the result of the three consecutive electoral contests, which resulted in strategic defeats, is rejected with a bunch of pretexts, referring to the invisible future.
@ Instead, with coup-like leadership statements, the intention to repeat the same choices that have already led us to painful results is confirmed:
The more manageable 2019 election defeat was met with a dash forward, resulting in a liquidation of SYRIZA to become the “great democratic party”. With the well-known results of the collapse of the voter turnout four years later.
In 2023, without a trace of political imagination, it is decided to implement the same “saving” strategy. Without the slightest discussion anywhere. After the disappointing performance in the self-governing elections, with some bright exceptions, this “big idea” tends to end in an unconditional association – some even envision a merger – of a now weakened party with PASOK-KINAL. In a political parody, occupying the void of alliance strategy.
There is no doubt that the close group of executives surrounding St. Kasselakis is leading, with his consent, SYRIZA to mutate into an apolitical formation, unrelated to any version of SYRIZA or even SYRIZA-PS. By recalling prehistoric theories of capital and labor cooperation and attributing to capital the status of a tool for combating inequalities, he instead suggests new methods for the more efficient extraction of surplus value from the exploitation of labor power, thus proposing a form of supporter of “entrepreneurship” instead of for a party in the service of workers.
And he attempts this by consciously referring to the Greek calendars in every collective attempt to evaluate the progress so far. We are reminded almost daily that the unanimously decided November conference will not take place in the foreseeable future.
The new leadership does not act as a presidency, i.e. as a one-man body with statutory commitments to the collective, but as if it has occupied a position of power which it protects like the apple of an eye from accountability to the collective bodies.
@ Convinced of the historical importance of the founding agreement of SYRIZA as a coalition of political forces of the broad Left, from the left social democracy to the radical Left, we will not be able to coexist harmoniously in the same party and be represented by a leadership that files for divorce from any political reasoning related to the Left, its values, ideas, ethos and style.
@ It does not suit us to boast that there is a magic key to governmental power held by the charismatic leader. A condition for there to be a prospect of claiming power from the Left again is to rebuild from the low percentages we have been led to by a reliable political body:
with a seriously elaborate program of radical changes
with a reliable and stable policy of alliances, which will not simply be proclaimed, but consistently built in the central political scene, at the local and regional level and in the field of social movements. And it will lead to progressive programmatic convergences with neighboring political forces through the strengthening of the Left and not by its unconditional surrender to plans foreign to its own program.
@ The myth of the leader who will defeat Mitsotakis in a duel is either a delusion or an outright fraud. In both versions it prevents us from regaining the necessary credibility, based on a solid leftist identity:
with a clear class position in favor of the workers and the popular classes
with a clear economic and fiscal policy against inequalities
with an alternative paradigm of production and consumption
with the strategic goal of structural reforms that change the existing organization of society
with bold radical policy to tackle the climate crisis with a focus on just transition policies to the green economy
by regaining the close relationship with the movements for the defense of rights (primarily of refugees/equal and anti-racist, of the LGBTI+ community, of the disabled, with the youth and anti-authoritarian movement)
with strong ties to the feminist movement
with organic ties to the movements of the new generation, its expectations and struggles for a livable today and a better tomorrow designed with its own participation
with clear positions on the distinction between state and church.
with a clear strategic vision for the Europe of the peoples, with a stable European orientation in an organic relationship and coordination with the European Left
with the defense of the country’s sovereign rights through a foreign policy of good neighborliness, guided by recession, the pursuit of peace and disarmament, free from the influences of nationalism, even when it is clothed in a “patriotic” mantle.
@ Our opposition to the current leadership team and the strategy of mutation is not an ordinary intra-party confrontation, it is of an identity nature. The invocation of unity cannot be done at the expense of the Left. It is precisely in the territory of the Left that unity is sought.
SYRIZA cannot be thuggery and the brazenness of an owner’s spirit that decides “whoever disagrees, leave”. It is all of us who founded it, believed in it, promoted it as a contender for the government, a refuge for the many, for those “from below”, an opponent of the far-right populism that guards the clock.
@ Our intention and goal is to ensure a political space capable of defending and promoting the identity, character, values, ideas and political proposals of the Left, open to the tens of thousands of women and men of the Left, of ecology, of feminist movement, youth movements, social movements, who feel the need to discuss and act together for its present and future, for their own present and future, either participating in it or following its course, without to abandon their current choices for the time being. We want to create a common place capable of inspiring optimism and mobilizing those who are driven to resign, but also the “abstention crowd”, fueled by the mistaken belief that there is nothing to expect from politics, while, on the contrary, almost everything depends on our participation in political processes and social movements.