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Trapped in the Eurozone? Radical left Eurorejectionism between Economic Realities and Political Constraints

European Politics
European Union
Political Parties
Critical Theory
Euro
Paolo Chiocchetti
European University Institute
Paolo Chiocchetti
European University Institute

Abstract

The dramatic confrontation between Greece and its Eurogroup partners over the Third Memorandum has been a moment of truth of the European radical left, revealing the mighty institutional obstacles to its project of “another European Union”. The vast majority of organisations have been stunned by the outcome of the bargaining process and have so far avoided the necessary but painful work of programmatic re-elaboration. A minority opinion has instead started to argue more openly for an exit from the Eurozone as an unavoidable precondition of any progressive national economic strategy. This paper assesses the work of some key theorists of a ‘left exit’ of peripheral countries from the Euro (Lapavitsas, Sapir, Bagnai, Mateo and Montero, and Ferreira do Amaral) in the context of the Greek debacle. It shows that the contemporary radical left now possesses a relatively well-developed outline of a national economic strategy alternative to neoliberalism, but it is nevertheless reluctant to adopt it out of fear of political isolation and economic reprisals.