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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEconomyEx-SYRIZA Chief's Plan B: Euro Exit

Ex-SYRIZA Chief's Plan B: Euro Exit

AlavanosAlekos Alavanos, former head of the major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) kicked off his new Plan B party on April 4 with a platform that calls for Greece to exit the Eurozone, an idea opposed by a huge majority of voters.
Alavanos, who opposes the austerity measures being imposed by the government on the order of international lenders, wants Greece to return to the ancient drachma it gave up in favor of the euro.
Alavanos led SYRIZA between 2004 and 2008 but has been mostly on the political sidelines over the last few years. Over recent months, he has criticized the party he used to lead, arguing that its goal of rejecting the terms of bailouts from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank but staying in the Eurozone was not credible.
Alavanos, 63, said that contradiction led him to create a new party that he said would give “a large part of Greek society, possibly as much as 50 percent who are in favor of leaving the euro, a chance to have their say,” although surveys show far more people than he cited want to stay in the Eurozone, putting him in a distinct minority to start with.
Alavanos said that in contrast to SYRIZA, the positions held by the Communist Party (KKE) and anti-capitalist Antarsya, which advocated a euro exit, had been “justified to a large degree,” the newspaper Kathimerini reported.
But he stressed that a return to the drachma would not in itself be a solution to Greece’s problems. “Leaving the euro is a precondition for salvation and recovery but is not enough on its own,” he said. “It is a link in the chain of transformations that have to happen, which includes economic planning, stopping payments to foreign lenders and nationalizing banks.”
He said the harsh conditions the Troika set for bailouts in Cyprus, including threats that the liquidity supply to its banks would be cut off, only strengthened the need for Greece to look at alternatives, said Alavanos. “Events in Cyprus give the image of a nightmarish future, which we must never experience in Greece.”
Under Alavanos, SYRIZA had only 5.04 percent share of the vote in 2007, while under new leader Alexis Tsipras it is in a virtual tie for first with the ruling New Democracy Conservatives. Alavanos said that his new party would avoid the usual bureaucracy associated with political movements and use the Internet and direct democracy by operating through a “national network of assemblies, which will have decision-making powers.”

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