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Greece’s Syriza Party Bailout Deal: Economic Defeat or Victory?

GUEST: Nantina Vgontzas is a Greek-American PhD student in sociology at New York University, focusing on political economy and social movements…

A week ago today, Greece’s newly elected Syriza party entered into an agreement giving it a 4-month extension on a bailout deal, in a move that is widely being cast as the party’s first major defeat. Coming to power with much pomp and celebration, the government of Alexis Tspiras offered promises to end austerity in a country that has seen the worst downturn in Western Europe since the 1930s. But Europe’s financial elite would have none of it, and the Eurozone finance ministers stood their ground last week in refusing to budge on most of Syriza’s demands. As of now, the only power that the Greek government has over its economy is the power to choose which cuts to make and where in order to satisfy structural adjustment requirements of its debt obligations. Syriza has taken a major beating in both the major media, and many parts of the left blogosphere. The question is, what choice did they have?

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GUEST: …Nantina Vgontzas is also active in the labor movement and currently a member of the UAW Graduate Student Organizing Committee. She lived and worked in Athens for a year following the 2012 elections and will return to Greece shortly. She is also a member of the New York City based Greek solidarity group AKNY.