A message for Mr Renzi

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.43.38Italian PM M. Renzi (click here for his speech) rejoiced at having “got rid of me” – citing my ‘removal’ from the ‘scene’ as a sign that ‘apostates’ (i.e. those who divide their parties) are jettisoned. His is a motivated illusion. Last July ‘they’ ‘got rid’ of something much more important than me. Here is my message to the Italian PM…

Mr Renzi presents me as an apostate who left SYRIZA and is now in the political wilderness. The truth is more sobering. Unlike many of my comrades, I remained loyal to the SYRIZA platform that saw us elected on 25th January as a united party that brought hope to the Greek and European peoples. Hope for what? Hope for a permanent end to the extend-and-pretend bailout loans, which cost Europe dearly, condemned Greece to permanent depression and foreshadowed failed policies for the rest of Europe.

What happened? Under extreme duress by European leaders, including Mr Renzi (who refused to discuss sensibly Greece’s own proposals) my prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, was subjected on 12th and 13th July to unbearable bullying, to naked blackmail, to inhuman pressures. Mr Renzi played a central role in helping break Alexis, with his ‘good cop’ tactic, based on the “If you do not yield, they will destroy you – please say yes to them” narrative.

Alexis and I parted ways because we disagreed on whether ‘they’ were bluffing or nor and on whether we, in any case, had the moral and political right to sign another non-viable agreement, handing over the keys to what is left of the Greek state to the ruthless troika. That was, and remains, a disagreement between Alexis and I.

Following that disagreement, Alexis forced a U-turn in SYRIZA’s policy on extend-and-pretend loans (accepting them for the first time in SYRIZA’s history as necessary evils) and, as a result, a large section of the party’s members decided they could not follow him down that path. And it was not just the Popular Unity segment that left. It was people like Tasos Koronakis, the party’s Secretary, myself and many, many others who never shared Popular Unity’s agenda. We were not apostates – just comrades who disagreed that SYRIZA should become the new PASOK, who refused to join the ranks of splinter parties, like Popular Unity, and who chose to sit out this sad parliamentary election – which could not, and did not, produce a Parliament capable of implementing a viable reform program for Greece.

Back to Mr Renzi now.

Mr Renzi, I have a message for you: You can rejoice as much as you like about the fact that I am no longer finance minister, not even in Parliament. But you did not ‘get rid’ of me. I am alive and kicking politically, as people in Italy remind me when I walk the streets of your beautiful country. No, what you got rid of, by participating in that dastardly coup against Alexis Tsipras and Greek democracy last July, was your own integrity as a European democrat. Possibly your soul too. Thankfully this is not irreversible. But you need to make serious amends. I cannot wait to see you return to the ranks of Europe’s democrats.

12 thoughts on “A message for Mr Renzi

  1. We should not forget that Renzi and his PD were once the feared Italian Communist Party, the main opposition party of Italy. Now what are they? A clone of the US Democratic Party: liberals with a pretense of good will but a rather evil praxis.

    And, if things were to remain static in this Europe in deep multifaceted crisis, what I believe (and hope) won’t be the case, that is probably the same bland “success” that expects the culled Syriza that Tsipras leads to nowhere but sitting in formal power without power nor will to do anything.

    I wouldn’t take too seriously whatever Renzi says. Because, even if he would be right, it’d be the wrong kind of right: the being right of betraying hope.

  2. “Brussels bureaufascists have an extra reason to celebrate. Not only managed to get rid of Varoufakis, as also Matteo Renzi recently cynically admitted, and split SYRIZA. They also managed to get rid of the ‘dangerous’ radicals for good, as Popular Unity did not enter the new parliament.”


    • By what means did Brussels manage to get rid of LAE (Popular Unity)?

      It seems that the people did this and Brussels had nothing to do with this particular aspect.

  3. I do love grand statements about democracy. Your ‘comrade’ Zoe made great use of the word while violating its essence. Klaus is right to ask, what would you have done? If Tsipras followed your advice and said OXI, would we now have the drachma? Would we have a parallel currency alongside the Euro? Breaking with the creditors Yani means a return to the national currency, immediately or later (after a parallel currency interlude). If this is your plan, or the inevitable conclusion of your proposed actions, do us all a favour and address the questions posed here: https://theconversation.com/why-leaving-the-euro-is-back-on-the-agenda-in-the-greek-election-47601

  4. Renzi’s statement is part of a concerted campaign organised elsewhere and a reverse compliment to Yanis. With most of Europe’s citizens, even in rich countries, either awake or waking up to the EU monstrosity, such a statement is at a political cost to himself. This tells us more about Italy in relation to Brussels / Berlin than anything about Yanis.

  5. I agree with your argument that you remained more loyal to the platform which got SYRIZA elected on January 25 than Alexis Tsipras but I don’t get the point of this argument. What would YOU have done in the days following the referendum had you been in Tsipras’ shoes? Would you have refused to sign the agreement offered to you (or forced upon you, however you want to call it)? It seems to me that there was only one choice: to sign or not to sign, and not signing would have led to your Plan B. Are you saying that you would have gone for your Plan B?

  6. “Integrity” is a virtue missing in our days. I respect you being side lined, but I think that people with your knowledge, understanding, but most importantly “integrity” should be in a hands-on position. How, I do not know… but you have to continue to fight ignorance in all levels for the benefit of us all.

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