How did Syriza win ?

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Some first observations.
The historical victory of Syriza is not the results of simple twist of fate. Already in 2012 did Syriza appear like a major player, like the principal left-wing party that dared to express a big ambition. By offering to greek electers the possibility to make not a protesting vote but a government vote.

By Elisabeth Gauthier, January 2015

Already in 2012 it was clear that the old PASOK, pillar of the european social-democracy, had lost all of its abilities to represent a political vision different from neoliberals, contesting the Troïka and being able to offer a way out of the crisis. But the fear of the unknown was then still stronger than the need of political changes.

The electoral progress of Syriza over the past few years have been swift but today’s victory is the result of an important process of work, mobilisation, of ideological arguments, of ripening coming from multiple inputs anchored in the society. It is also the results of everyday concrete actions, of intense political debate, of solidarity with the citizen using self-organizing forms in order to supply basic needs. Thus Syriza was perceived as the force that would be able today to tackle the current issues. A close watch of the rise of this new political subject is of interest for all left-wing players.

Syriza is not an old, traditional party but the results of a gathering of diverse forces some of them new, with varying traditions also cooperating with multiple social movement. The ability to gather all of these forces, that could go together in the same direction, is one the big success that allowed this victory.

Since a decade now Synaspismos and later Syriza gave major responsabilities to young people able to spread new democratical practices, very open to the world and being able to play a active role in movements like the « indignés ». Since 15 years, activists from different currents within Syriza are engaged in the construction of new public spaces, of social forums, of struggle and reflecting networks, in the country but also across Europe. Thus new official of today’s Syriza were able to forge links of cooperation and friendship with forces that were also struggling to change Europe. This explain the large mobilisation in Europe to support Syriza. Many analysis and propositions that are today in Syriza plan are the results of these shared experiences and discussions. The intelectual inputs and assessments that Syriza was able to generate and gather are the results of a continuous and very open work towards inputs coming from different places. These are also these in-depth exchanges that allowed the formation of solid teams able to reach a decision when necessary.

Thus a consensus on the question about the Europe and the Euro could be reached despite fierce internal debate. The candidacy of Alexis Tsipras to the post of president of the european commission in 2015 allowed the idea that together european peoples could change the Europe to live on. This also brought some dynamics in left-wing parties in several countries. It enable the rise of new conscience of struggle at the european level. The visibility of Podemos as a rising force and the enlarging of european solidarity over these last week gave credit to Syriza’s ambition to change the way thinks works in Euopre. We can then hope that the radical left is gaining momentum in several countries for the upcoming election in 2015.

The program coming form collective work bringing together experts and daily life experiences became a factor of hope because it is ambitious, realist, coherent, answer to concrete needs in the lower and middle classes and is understandable by all. This program is the expression of an ambition and a concrete political will, it is not an ideological speech.

It tackle the debt issue and a new deal as european issues answering to needs from every people. It is not opposing Greek’s interests to those from other countries. The struggle against the oligarchy, against the austerity and for an alternatives also takes an understable note betong Greek’s borders. It allows the creation of a basis of common struggles. This new reality must push us to change the balance of power in France and to contribute to the refusal of european austerity, forcing governments in France and eslewhere to change their direction. To make the « chantier de l’espoir » work so that a new dynamic may rise amongst left-wing forces in our country.