Labour took its first step to economic credibility by Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor. It was vital to appoint someone who would break from the confused economic policies pursued by previous Labour administrations and in opposition. John McDonnell’s was the correct appointment and he proved it immediately and at Labour conference. His establishing the position that Labour would not run a budget deficit over the course of the business cycle on current expenditure, but would borrow for investment, was precisely the correct position. It was in line with the theoretical analyses of both Marx and Keynes. It provided the framework for the other correct polices that began to be laid out at the Labour Party conference – for example on the National Investment Bank, opposition to removing the budget deficit by cuts to welfare.
The Troika of the ECB/EU/IMF have imposed a harsh defeat on Syriza and all the anti-austerity forces in Europe. At every stage the concessions agreed by the Syriza leadership were not enough. The Troika, led by Germany, sought a political solution to the economic crisis; the complete rout of the anti-austerity forces and the humiliation of their first government.
Greek voters have struck a fantastic blow on behalf of all those fighting against austerity in Europe. A brilliant campaign waged by Alexis Tsipras and the leadership of Syriza united all those who want an end to austerity and to the national humiliation of living under the diktat of Brussels/Frankfurt and Washington.
Speech by Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece
For six months now, the Greek government has been waging a battle in conditions of unprecedented economic suffocation to implement the mandate you gave us on January 25.
The following article by Michael Burke, on the current crisis of Greece and the international institutions, was originally published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.