Scholars Appeal for Greece

We the undersigned call on the governments of Europe, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF to respect the decision of the Greek people to choose a new course and to engage the new government of Greece in good faith negotiations to resolve the Greek debt.

The government of Greece is correct to insist on new policies because the previous policies have failed. They have not brought economic recovery. They have not brought financial stability. They have not brought jobs or foreign investments. They have stressed and damaged Greek society and weakened Greek institutions. There is therefore no value in that approach and no progress to preserve. We urge Greece’s European partners to accept this reality, without which the new government would never have been elected.

Greece needs immediate humanitarian measures, a higher minimum wage, new jobs, new investments, and steps to restore and improve basic services such as education and health care. It needs a stronger and more progressive tax system, less dependent on VAT and better able to tax incomes and wealth. It needs to fight, punish and root out corruption. The new government needs fiscal space to implement these measures and to demonstrate their worth, and it needs continuing financial support from the European Central Bank to stabilize the financial sector meanwhile. We urge Greece’s European partners and institutions to provide that fiscal space and that support.

The government of Greece is correct to ask for a write-off of debts owed to European partners. These debts are unsustainable and so will not be paid in any event. There is therefore no economic loss involved, for any other nation or its taxpayers, in writing them off. On the contrary, a fresh start for Greece will help bring new activity, income, jobs and profit to her partners. We urge Greece’s creditors to seize this chance, and to explain these facts clearly and candidly to their own peoples.

These issues also engage the future of Europe as a whole. A policy of menace, threats, deadlines, obstinacy and blackmail will demonstrate to all Europeans that the European project will have failed. It will have failed morally, politically, and as a matter of economics. We urge Europe’s leaders to reject and condemn all efforts to coerce the government and people of Greece.

Conversely, success for Greece can show the path toward renewed prosperity and stability for Europe, with a new role for democracy and a new openness to elections that bring constructive change. We stand with Greece and with Europe, with democracy and with change. We urge Europe’s leaders to recognize the special basis of Greek decision-making in hard-fought and decisive democratic choice, and to choose the path of realistic assessment and reasonable negotiation.


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H επιστολή 300 διανοούμενων απ όλα τα κράτη του κόσμου υπέρ της Ελλάδας


300 ονόματα όπως οι James Galbraith Stephany Griffith-Jones, Jacques Sapir Dominique Meda καλούν τις ευρωπαϊκές κυβερνήσεις και τους διεθνείς θεσμούς να σεβαστούν τις αποφάσεις του ελληνικού λαού και να διαπραγματευθούν με καλή πίστη με την νέα ελληνική κυβέρνηση για να επιλύσουν το ζήτημα του χρέους.
Υποστηρίζουν την αλλαγή κατεύθυνσης των πολιτικών που εφαρμόζονται γιατί αυτές έχουν καταλήξει σε ένα απόλυτο φιάσκο. Δεν φέρνουν ούτε την ανάκαμψη ούτε τη χρηματοπιστωτική σταθερότητα, ούτε την απασχόληση, ούτε επενδύσεις. Απεναντίας έχουν καταβάλει την ελληνική κοινωνία και τους θεσμούς της.. Πρέπει οι εταίροι στην Ευρώπη να κατανοήσουν αυτή την πραγματικότητα από την οποία εκπορεύεται και το εκλογικό αποτέλεσμα στην Ελλάδα.
Η Ελλάδα προκειμένου να εφαρμόσει τις αναγκαίες πολιτικές και να τις καταστήσει αποτελεσματικές χρειάζεται κάποια δημοσιονομική ανάσα οπότε θα πρέπει να χρηματοδοτηθεί από την ΕΚΤ για να σταθεροποιήσει το τραπεζικό της σύστημα.
Έχει δίκιο η ελληνική κυβέρνηση που ζητά διαγραφή μέρους του χρέους από τους εταίρους της..Ζητάμε από τους πιστωτές της Ελλάδος να δράξουν αυτή την ευκαιρία και να παρουσιάσουν καθαρά και τίμια τα δεδομένα στις κοινωνίες τους.
Το διακύβευμα δεν είναι μόνο η τύχη της Ελλάδος αλλά ακόμη και το μέλλον της Ευρώπης στο σύνολό της. Η πολιτική των απειλών των τελεσιγράφων, της ξεροκεφαλιάς και των εκβιασμών δηλώνουν την ηθική αποτυχία, οικονομική και πολιτική, του ευρωπαϊκού οράματος. Ζητάμε από τους ευρωπαίους ηγέτες να απορρίψουν και να καταδικάσουν τις προσπάθειες ταπείνωσης και εξαναγκασμού απέναντι στη κυβέρνηση και τον ελληνικό λαό.
Απεναντίας η επιτυχία της Ελλάδος μπορεί να δείξει το δρόμο της ευημερίας και της σταθερότητας στην Ευρώπη. Θα έδινε την ευκαιρία να φανεί η ανανέωση της δημοκρατίας και θα έδινε τη δυνατότητα μέσω των εκλογικών διαδικασιών σε εποικοδομητικές αλλαγές.
Είμαστε μαζί με την Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη υπέρ της δημοκρατίας και της αλλαγής. Οι Ευρωπαίοι ιθύνοντες πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουν την αποφασιστική δημοκρατική επιλογή του ελληνικού λαού η οποία έγινε υπό συνθήκες εξαιρετικά δύσκολες και να προχωρήσουν σε μια ρεαλιστική αξιολόγηση της κατάστασης και να εισέλθουν χωρίς χρονοτριβή στην οδό μιας λογικής διαπραγμάτευσης.
Παρακάτω οι πρώτοι υπογράψαντες
Elmar Altvater (FU, Allemagne)
Philippe Askenazy (CNRS, France),
Clair Brown (University of California, Berkley, Etats-Unis)
Dorothee Bohle (Central European University, Hongrie)
Giovanni Dosi, (Pisa Institute of Economics, Italie)
Cédric Durand (Université Paris 13, France)
Gerald Epstein (UMASS, Etats-Unis)
Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law, Allemagne)
James Galbraith (University of Texas at Austin, Etats-Unis)
Gaël Giraud (CNRS, France)
Stephany Griffith-Jones (Columbia University, Etats-Unis)
Laura Horn (Roskilde University, Danemark)
Robert Jessop (University of Lancaster, Royaume-Uni)
Steve Keen (Kingston University, Royaume-Uni)
Marc Lavoie (Ottawa University, Canada)
Tony Lawson (Cambridge, Royaume-Uni)
Dimitris Milonakis (University of Crete, Grèce)
Andreas Nölke (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Allemagne)
Dominique Meda (Paris Dauphine, France),
El Mouhoub Mouhoud (Paris Dauphine, France)
André Orléan (EHESS, France),
Henk Overbeek (VU University Amsterdam, Pays-Bas)
Mario Pianta (University of Urbino, Italie)
Alfonso Palacio Vera (Computense University of Madrid, Espagne)
Anwar Shaikh (New School for Social Research, Etats-Unis)
Jacques Sapir (EHESS, France)
Robert Wade (LSE, Royaume-Uni)

Syriza’s real, under-the-radar accomplishment

The radical party that won the recent elections on January 25 2015 and shamed the forces that governed Greece for the past 4 decades, has managed to align a significant portion of the electorate and took off on an impressive, decisive journey towards the same agenda it had adopted at the pre-election period.

Consistency, transparency and determination, are values never before upheld by any Greek government.   Plus a very well done homework and an equally confident plan in immediate motion.

Thrust in the international political scene is equally impressive: Obama’s forthright support, French Fin Min and J.C Junker’s statements, solidarity–work in progress– with the European periphery that suffers from the consequences of the same cruel, irrational model of punitive austerity.  A hypocritical and ironic amalgam of values embedded in Enlightenment and ironclad remainders of the Inquisition and the Dark Ages.  It is not a matter of economics or financial viability, it has nothing from the positive outlook of repairing damages, healing wounds, righting wrongs or restoring balances.  It is purely a cultural war of hatred and revenge as if World War II in Europe never ended, 75 years later.

The value of Syriza’s rise and impressive appeal on a national and international scale lies elsewhere.  Within 7 days they have managed to show the world that there are other ways to rebuild devastated economies, that the alternative vision is entirely existing and cautiously attainable.  In fact it has showcased that non- violent ways are the only ways out of a crisis.  As an inspired friend put it, “you don’t austeritize yourself out of a crisis, you grow yourself out of it.”  And this is not just one option.  It is the only realistic option with win-win consequences for all actors involved.

Secondly, they have managed to turn the sign of the conversation from negative to positive.  An economy in deep recession and depression was in desperate need of climate change.  And by extension, other economies and societies suffocating under irrational fiscal restructuring simply because some brains behind thick walls decided that Milton Friedman’s model of shock therapy would be implemented on a global scale. Just because markets rejoice and some billions end up in a handful of private accounts as bonuses.  People’s rights, international treaties and democratic principles are simply annoying roadblocks.     The “invisible hand” sadly belongs to very real persons who couldn’t care less about balance or justice while they dance their way to banks.

Finally, the way Greece is viewed by its creditors after Syriza’s victory has been exposed as outright unfair, very much revealing of their inadequacy and blunt betrayal of the values, principles and grand vision conceived by the founders of the EEC in the 1950s.  Never has the concept “Union” been violated so blatantly than now that it has forced an entire nation into a vicious circle of recession from restructuring measures based on very wrong assumptions.  Critics of neoliberal principles can no longer be silenced because econometric empiricism no longer stands on their side.

© Maria Jay Em