SYRIZA’s Left Platform makes gains but proposal voted down

Dissent within SYRIZA over the prospect of a compromise with creditors bringing more austerity measures surfaced over the weekend with the party’s radical Left Platform proposing that Greece stop paying its creditors if they continue with “blackmailing tactics,” and seek an “alternative plan.”

The Left Platform’s proposal was voted down on Sunday by SYRIZA’s central committee – by 95 votes to 75. But the fact that the radical faction led by Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis garnered significant support signalled that many SYRIZA cadres and MPs favor an uncompromising stance. Still, some members of the Left Platform were said to be concerned about the repercussions of an overly militant stance.

Lafazanis said the government should start preparing Greeks for an “alternative solution” to avert more austerity measures or privatizations. He claimed that a Greek exit from the eurozone could be managed. “Who says an exit from the euro and return to the national currency would be catastrophic?”

Costas Lapavitsas, an MP and an economist, said a return to the drachma could be the first step towards economic recovery. Euro MP Dimitris Papadimoulis underlined the need to avoid “a catastrophic rupture,” claiming that a default would hit the middle and lower classes harder.

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