Green backing for Syriza



The electoral victory of Syriza is inspiring left and Green parties around the world.

In Greece the Ecologist Greens joined Syriza and one of its members came into Parliament on the Syriza ticket. Another Ecologist Green, Giannis Tsironis, was appointed Deputy Minister of the Environment and Energy in the Tsipras Cabinet. The European Green Party (which has a big bloc in the European Parliament) backed the Ecologist Greens decision, stating that “there must be an end to austerity” and “the debt burden of Greece must be alleviated in negotiations”.

There was already a lot in common ground between the Green and Syriza platforms – including opposition to privatization and corporate domination, drug law reform and anti-militarism.

When it was negotiating entry into Syriza, the Ecologist Greens presented 21 additional policy points, all of which were accepted by Syriza. They included independence from fossil fuels within 20 years, encouraging reafforestation, protection of fisheries, participatory processes in public services, and decentralisation.

Syriza’s official colours are red, green and purple – the latter two colours representing environmentalism and feminism.

Greens around the world, including in New Zealand, have welcomed the Syriza government.

The British Greens have been particularly enthusiastic, given the impact the Syriza victory is having on European politics. Green MP Caroline Lucas tweeted “hope has won” and two British Green members of the European Parliament, Molly Scott Cato and Keith Taylor, said that the “Greens share the view of the new government that austerity is a failed model which has piled misery on the poorest while making the wealthiest even richer.”

TDB Recommends

The Greens’ opposition to austerity policies of the other British parties has given its membership (and poll rating) a big boost. The Green Party of England and Wales (excluding the independent Green Parties in Scotland and Northern Ireland) now has 46,000 members, more than either the Liberal Democrats or UKIP, and a poll rating of between 9% and 11%.

The growing popularity of the sensible policies of the Green Parties and broad Left formations like Syriza is making it harder for the conservative media to paint them as “extremists”, “cranks”, “far left” or “hard left”. As the Greek elections showed it is the older, more conservative parties, that are not meeting the challenges of today, and are being marginalised. In this year’s Greek elections, the main social democratic party, Pasok, which won a majority of the seats as recently as 2009, took only 4.7% of the vote.


  1. I always get miffed when social democrat’s get called hard left by the lazy media. The extreme left are not social democrat’s, and most of us are anarchist who are insulted to be lumped with the moderates. The greens are nothing more than centrists, with environmental ideas.

    The greens are soft and fluffy, nowhere near radical or extreme or cranks or hard left. Most on the hard left find the NZ greens sensibilities far to nice for words. If the greens ran the economy they might actually make it work, and stemmed the coming revolution.

    So the lazy media, please keep supporting National and all the bat crazy extremist on the right, and we on the hard left will get what we want – a revolution.

    Otherwise, we might end up with a sensible green government.

  2. New Zealanders are becoming as beige as the new houses they beg banks to loan money from to ‘ buy ‘ to live in . Then once in mortgage or ‘death pledge’ if you prefer those same NZ’ers live in fear and anxiety constantly OR use their mounting equity ( debt ) to leverage up house prices to further the interests of Banks, thus the parasite’s life cycle is completed .
    The Greeks are far too smart for that shit as are the Icelandic’s .
    A revolution you talk of @ Adam .
    By whom and when ? That’s a serious question and asked with respect . I read a lot of writing of a Revolution but few ideas .
    I like the idea of all foreign owned banks driven from our shores , all mortgage debt written off and our currency fire-walled against speculation . It would cause significant disruption of course but then so do guns and bombs . And it’s something that could be implemented cautiously and gently and without bloodshed . One would hope .

    What do you think of that Idea @ Keith Locke ?
    I’d be hugely interested to see where a broader conversation would lead based on that premise . Would it cause chaos ? Despair ? Starvation ? The collapse of our society ? Poverty ?
    Oh wait ? We have that now . In a rich country the size of the UK excluding Ireland but with only 4.3 million people .

    • You said “…..all foreign owned banks driven from our shores , all mortgage debt written off and our currency fire-walled against speculation. It would cause significant disruption of course”.
      To whom? Which individuals lives will it affect?

    • so… those people living in Auckland who crashed the Council website when their new valuations were released…. who then felt richer when it said their houses were worth more money…. who then went to their banks willingly to borrow more money to redo the kitchen, or buy a jet ski, or buy a boat, or whatever consumer crap they wanted…. they can have it all for free.

      or the many “middle class” people who borrow yet more to buy “investment” properties, assuming that prices will always rise and that owning multiple properties leads to untold wealth…. they can have it all for free

      no one is twisting your arm to get into debt. its simple greed and herd behaviour.

      wiping off all mortgage debt would reward greed. it would reward only the property owning class, it would keep property prices high, and those who don’t own property just keep losing

      I can’t tell you just how much I disagree with your conclusion that mortgage debt should be wiped

      no it should not. property prices need to come down. and that can be achieved quite quickly by simply ceasing all land sales to non citizens and non residents, and requiring all property owned by non citizens or non residents to be sold to a citizen or permanent resident within 5 years.

  3. You are going to be so very disappointed then when the Syriza party will have to back track on some of the election promises.

    They cannot renegotiate anything significant out of previous bailout agreements and they cannot stay in the Eurozone (and possibly the EU) if they default on the debt repayments.

    In short they have liitle option but to kowtow to the rest of Europe and the rest of Europe has little desire to accomodate anything but the most mikld of demands they may have.

    • Well, Gossy, I mostly do not agree with you, but on this one I fear you are right. The Eurozone is after the crisis under firm control by the ECB, who together with the IMF will lay down the rules to the new Greek government, as they see it.

      While the win of Syriza is a breath of fresh air, the idealist thoughts they have to address the financial and debt crisis, and to stop austerity will not be welcome in Brussels, Frankfurt, London and Paris. Greece is a small nation, and will get little leeway there, so the sensible step may be to leave the Eurozone, go back to the Drahma, and stay in the EU, offering a duty free trade zone membership.

      Devaluation, and other adjustments will mean that Greek labour and investment will become attractive, so that it may become a place where Chinese corporations or so invest, to produce cheap goods and services for the rest of Europe. It may follow the way Ireland once did, and trade itself out of the doldrums.

      But it will not go without pain, whatever they plan.

      As for Keith’s idealism, and dreams of a Green Party revolution or growth of influence in Europe, he is somewhere detached from reality. As sad as it is, Europe is in most countries moving to the right, where nationalist, anti immigration and anti foreigner policies are becoming popular, in the environment of mass refugee movements into Europe.

      It is the common and usual human behaviour, to shut the doors, to look at number one and their own first, and to favour parties like the Front Nationale in France.

      The Eurozone will eventually break up, and so will the EU. That trade zone and alliance has been the most powerful economic zone in the world, but strategically it is a paper tiger, irrelevant indeed. That is why Putin of Russia is supporting Russian separists in Ukraine and will continue playing hard, as he knows, the EU is weak inside, and will not pose a threat to whatever Russia may do. As for Russia, the failed US policy is showing again, the US is all about expanding economic power in all spheres, and their lost all sensitivity towards other world powers, and considering delivering arms to Ukraine, that will fuel the beginning of a major war in Eastern Europe, and Europe will mostly stand by, as it is totally dependent on oil and gas from Russia, to a high degree.

      Why this fascination with Syriza, is the situation here in New Zealand so hopeless for the progressives and the left now, they have to escape into dreams of progress and revolutionary change elsewhere, as the brainwashed, dumbed down locals in NZ are so distant from going for change, there is not a shit show of achieving much?

      Bring it on here, Key is looking weak, see his bodylanguage, and his face, betraying the lies he continues telling us.

      I would rather focus on change here, it is overdue.

Comments are closed.