Building Alliances to Fight Austerity and Reclaim Democracy in Europe

International Conference

Hotel President
43 Kifisias Ave.

SYRIZA, the Party of the European Left, Nicos Poulantzas Institute and transform! europe co-organise a big conference in Athens. It aims on the one hand, to analyse some of the major problems the EU and its member states are facing today and on the other, to contribute in establishing broad political and social alliances to confront these problems in the interest of democracy and of the European peoples and dominated classes.




Participants will discuss the economic, social and political effects of austerity policies, the refugee crisis and its impact on European societies and the EU as a whole, the dangers of climatic change, the offensive against organized labour throughout the EU and finally the uncertain future of the Eurozone and generally of European integration.

The Conference, which is taking place in a country with a long and painful experience of the effects of both neoliberal policies and the ever increasing waves of refugees arriving daily to its coasts, aspires to be a major European political event. This ambition is based on the knowledge and the expertise of a big number of distinguished participants, which include prominent members of the Greek government, intellectuals, analysts, party leaders and officials, deputies of national Parliaments and of the European Parliament, trade-unionists and activists of the social movements.

Working languages: English and Greek

Find the program below.


Friday, 18 March



Panos Rigas, (Secretary of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA, Greece)

Athina Athanasiou (Associate professor of Social Anthropology at Panteion University, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Greece)


17:30 – 19:30

FIRST SESSION: Economic, Social and Political Effects of Bail-Out Programs in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus: Is There a Way Out of Crisis?

Rania Antonopoulou (Deputy Minister of Labour, Greece)

Yiannos Katsourides (Promitheas institute, Cyprus)

Renato Soeiro (Executive Board of EL, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal)

Michael Taft (“Unite” the union, Ireland)


Paolo Ferrero (PRC, Italy)
Αdoracion Guaman (University of Valencia, Spain)
Steffen Lehndorff (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
Emmanuel Maurel (MΕP, Socialist Party, France)
Foteini Vaki (MP, SYRIZA, Greece)
James Wickham (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Moderator: Kostas Chrysogonos (MEP, SYRIZA, Greece)




Yiannis Dragasakis (Deputy Prime Minister of the Greek Government)

Euclid Tsakalotos (Finance Minister of the Greek Government)


Moderator: Kaki Bali (Journalist, Editor, newspaper “Avgi” Sunday’s edition, Greece)


Saturday, 19 March


SECOND SESSION: The Political Economy of EU Economic Governance: Left Alternatives to Authoritarian Neoliberalism

Susan George (Transnational Institute/Amsterdam, France)

Gregor Gysi (MP, Die Linke, Germany)

Dimitris Papadimoulis (Vice President of the European Parliament, SYRIZA, Greece)


Nicola Fratoianni (MP, Italian Left, Italy)
Εlisabeth Klatzer (ATTAC, Austria)
Dominique Plihon (University Paris XIII, France)
George Ververis (SYRIZA, Greece)

Moderator: Marika Frangaki (Member of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA, Greece)


12:00-12:15 Break



THIRD SESSION: Stop Climatic Change/For an Ecological Transformation of European Societies

Christophe Aguiton (Coalition Climat 21, ATTAC, France)

Ernest Urtasun (MEP, ICV, Catalonia)

Antje Vollmer (Greens, Germany)

Zoi Vrontisi (Coordinator of the Energy Working Group in Ecogreens and President of the National Center of Environment and Sustainable Development, Greece)


Josef Baum (Environment Working Group, EL, Austria)
Inger V. Johansen (Left-Green Alliance, Denmark)
Chara Kafantari (MP, SYRIZA, Greece),
Luigi Pandolfi (The Other Europe-L’Altra Europa, Italy)

Moderator: Giorgos Chondros (Central Committee of SYRIZA, Greece)


14:15-15:00 Lunch Break



FOURTH SESSION: Refugees, War and Peace, Securitization: New Challenges for Europe

Attila Melegh (Researcher, Demographic Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary)

Yiannis Mouzalas (Deputy Minister of Immigration Policy, Greece) 

Sara Prestianni (Responsible for Immigration affairs, ARCI, Italy)

Gabi Zimmer (Chairperson of GUE/NGL, Germany)


Katerina Anastasiou (transform! Austria)
Giuseppe Civati (Possibile, Italy)
Jan Kavan (Czech Social Democratic Party, Czech Republic)
Maite Mola (Vice President of the European Left, Spain)
Veronika Susova-Salminen (historian, political analyst, Czech Republic/Finland)
Tea Vidović (Centre for Peace Studies, Croatia)
Keli Visviki (SYRIZA, Greece)

Moderator: Vassiliki Katrivanou (MP, SYRIZA, Greece)


17:00-17:15 Break



FIFTH SESSION: The Future of European Integration

Walter Baier (Coordinator transform! europe, Austria)

Guillaume Balas (MΕP, Socialist Party, France)

Luciana Castellina (Italy)

Costas Douzinas (MP, SYRIZA, Greece)


Fabio Amato (PRC,Μember of Executive Board EL, Italy)
Tamara Ehs (University of Vienna, Austria)
Bastien Faudot (MRC, France)

Moderator: Xaris Golemis (Director of the Nicos Poulantzas Institute, member of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA)


19:30 -22:00

PUBLIC EVENT: Alliance For Democracy – Against Austerity in Europe


Alexis Tsipras (Prime Minister of Greece)

Pierre Laurent (Communist Party of France, President of the E.L.

Declan Kearney (Chairperson of Sinn Fein, Ireland)

Ska Keller (MEP, Alliance ’90/ Greens, Germany)

Marisa Matias (Left Block, Vice President of the E.L., former Presidential Candidate, Portugal)

Tania Gonzalez Penas (MEP, Podemos, Spain)

Representative of the leadershio of the Labour Party, U.K.


Sunday, 20 March


SIXTH SESSION (roundtable): Protect Collective Agreements, Save Labor Rights

Maria Karamesini (Head of the Greek Manpower Employment Organization – OAED)

Georgios Katrougalos (Briefing from the Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity, Greece)

Ouria Belaziz (member of the board of the CGT Metal Workers Federation, France)

Fausto Durante (international representative, CGIL, Italy)

Anastasia Frantzeskaki (Member of the board, Association of officials at Piraeus Port Authority S.A., Greece)

Giorgos Gogos (General Secretary of dockworkers’ Union at Piraeus Port Authority S.A.)

Juan José Fernández (Secretary of Employment and Industry, CCOO, Spain)

Costas Koumpounis (Representative of FGTB, Belgium)

Giota Lazaropoulou (Workers’ Association of ex-“ETHNODATA”, Federation of Greek Banks Employees, Greece)

Valentina Orazzini (Responsible for European affairs, FIOM, Italy)

Rosario Rappa (General Secretary of FIOM, Italy)

Eleni Zografaki (President, Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers, Greece)


Moderator: Nasos Iliopoulos (member of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA)