Priorities for Syriza, as set by the Secretary of the Central Committee, Panos Skourletis

The newly-elected Secretary of the Central Committee, Panos Skourletis, set the goals of renewing the party’s programme and shaping a strategy on alliances within a post-memorandum political landscape.

From a viewpoint of today’s Left, SYRIZA must seek partnerships with neighbouring political spaces, subject to terms and conditions. We are interested in that part of what is known as the Center-left which is in the process of shifting away from social-liberalism, he underlines.

The heart of democracy in our party beats through a plurality of tendencies. The question today, however, is to set the limits between a ‘tendency’ and a mechanism of sharing intra-party fiefs.  We must also define the kind of modern politicized mass party that suits our Left. It will be for our collective bodies to decide what changes must be brought to our party, that will lead to a better use of our members in key positions, through the necessary redeployments. There is a need to enliven the party sections, organisations and also to strengthen our Youth.

At the same time, P. Skourletis replies to those who brandish the risk of “PASOKification” of SYRIZA:

“We are not so naïve as to adopt something which has been rejected in previous years by Greek society.

Those who say such things have not understood the great changes which people have undergone in the Memorandum years. A new political map has been drafted through the tectonic changes which occurred in the Greek society, new relations of power and new consciences have been formed”.

As for the fact that persons from the Center-left and the Center-right joined the Government, he clarifies that this is not a case of ‘bilateral’ enlargement, but of specific collaborations – ‘openings’, each one of which has a different political weight.

“Obviously, the party’s cooperation policy is something much broader, which must have a clear orientation and be built on solid programmatic bases. From a viewpoint of today’s Left, our party must seek partnerships with neighbouring political spaces, subject to terms and conditions”.

According to the Secretary of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, our ideological and political opponent is neoliberalism, which finds its political expression in the New Democracy (ND) party, which has opted for a deeply divisive discourse and is shifting to the Far-right along with other parties of the European Right.

In fact, ND’s shifting further to the right is shrinking its ideological and political field in the political spectrum.  As a matter of fact, two new main poles are being formed, a new post-memorandum bipolarity based on the opposition between two deeply different programs. ND will be the main trunk of one of the poles, SYRIZA of the other one. It is in this framework that we must approach the ongoing process in what we used to call ‘the Centre’.

SYRIZA’s priority is to express the world of work, of the weakest in particular. This is why we are fighting to restore collective bargaining, increase the minimum wage and abolish the ‘sub-minimum’ wage. We do not disregard post-memorandum constraints, the international relation of powers, the financial markets that impose their rules in today’s world, but what matters now for us from now on is to make the right steps in the right direction. This requires a constant effort in Greece and in Europe to shape more hopeful relations of power.

Panos Skourletis left the office of Minister of the Interior to take up the position of Secretary of the Central Committee of Syriza. This reflects a will to upgrade the autonomous political role of the party.

Find attached the whole speech of Panos Skourletis at the EL Executive Board (Brussels, 29th Sept. 2018) (English and French);