Syriza, Podemos, Nouvelle Donne. The alternative to the Europe of Draghi-Macron


from the blog of Bernard Leon (reprinted by permission of the author)

[Note for non-French readers: Mario Draghi is the President of the European Central Bank, while Emmanuel Macron is the French Economy Minister.]


Representatives of two young political parties Podemos (Spain) and Syriza (Greece) met Friday, March 27 at the Maison des Mines in Paris to discuss their feedback with activists of Nouvelle Donne who share with them the same desire for an alternative to the political parties, both of the right and of the left, who have lost their democratic identity throughout Europe.

The results of the second round of departmental elections in France reflect the comments of the anti-Mafia Judge Roberto Scarpinato, who wrote in 2008 in “The Return of the Prince” (Contre Allée Editions), “People everywhere perceive and experience in their own flesh the pressure of social suffering that is growing day by day . . . That’s why political power today has no social respect.” Eric Alt, on behalf of Nouvelle Donne, opened the evening to a young and attentive audience, by recalling the principles that were used by Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, to carry out their work.

– No more pessimism, which is always an excuse to do nothing.

– Show courage. Have no fear to call a spade a spade. To call Macron an oligarch. Keep in mind his statement earlier this year: “We need young people who want to be billionaires,” had he told Les Echos. To the dismay of some socialists.

– Show your pride and audacity. These two qualities were the basis for the great popular movement marches called the “Tides” in Spain, as well as the events of 18 March in Frankfurt on the occasion of the inauguration of the new headquarters of the ECB, a building that costs 1.3 billion euros, to protest against the austerity imposed by the EU institutions: the ECB, the IMF, and the Commission.

– Change the look of politics which shows a “Potemkin facade,” a true optical illusion that hides a vacuum inside.

– Show empathy for our fellow man. Rise up to the level of the people. Listen to what Rosanvallon calls “the parliament of the invisibles”.

A red thread connects the three parties, Spanish, Greek and French, but in a different temporality, that of the need to free ourselves individually and collectively from the powers that control us. This implies, and I quote again Roberto Scarpinato “a deconstruction process of cultural imposititions that permeate our lives from an early age.” This requires change and Podemos and Syriz should help us.

Let’s get started. Where do Syriza and Podemos come from? Where are they now? Where are they going and where are we going? What can we imagine today that can be possible tomorrow?

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(click here for the original French version)

Question for this article:

Movements against governmental fiscal austerity, are they part of the global movement for a culture of peace?

Readers’ comments are invited on this question.