STATEMENT of IWL(FI)
Written by IWL-FI – International Secretariat
Friday, 03 July 2015 20:37
Greece will hold a referendum on Sunday to accept or reject the “agreement” proposed by the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF). If the YES win, an austerity plan will be applied as well as the reduction in wages and in rights.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, set aside diplomacy and openly called for the Greek people to vote for YES. Angela Merkel rejected a last agreement proposal made by Tsipras, hoping for a victory of the YES vote in the referendum.
The imperialist propaganda blames the Greek people for the current crisis. It is a lie at the service of the European banks, the big winners of the implementation of austerity plans. The result of such implementation in the past five years shows that falsehood: the country’s situation only worsened. External debt increased, the country’s production fell to levels similar to depression. Greek workers and the people had their wages reduced, their rights attacked.
The people must defeat this new pressure of imperialism. It was against these plans that the Greeks made 35 general strikes. It was against them that Syriza won the elections in January. So we call the vote for NO in the referendum.
For a conscient, anti-imperialist No vote
Tsipras is campaigning for the NO vote. But the meaning of Tsipras’ and Greek workers’ NO votes are very different.
Tsipras advocates voting for NO to return to the negotiating table with the Eurogroup and get small differences in the austerity plan. He threw away the Thessaloniki agenda and the commitments made with Greek workers in the election (such as increasing the minimum wage, repeal any labor reforms of the previous government). He retreated from his promises in order to get a “restructuring” of the debt, which would keep intact the austerity policy.
The Greek government presented a plan to creditors including the gradual raising of the retirement age from 62 to 67 years, in addition to the gradual elimination of subsidies and to increasing taxes to retirees. It would also gradually increase the fiscal surplus from 1% in 2015 to 3.5% of GDP in 2018. He agreed with almost all Troika’s impositions.
The imperialism didn’t accept Tsipras’ austerity plan because it wanted heavier measures against retirees, more unemployment, more privatizations. Tsipras was forced to call the referendum because he would be forced to allow so many concessions that would mean a political suicide. But he wants the referendum to strengthen his position to … return to the negotiating table.
The NO vote of workers should be the starting point to achieve what Tsipras promised before the negotiations: rising wages and pensions, the end of privatization and austerity. That can’t be changed by a restructuring of the illegal and odious debt.
Today we can not say what will happen in the referendum. Imperialism makes a mediatic terrorism campaign as if the rejection of the agreement and the possibility of Greece leaving the euro would be a catastrophe. As if the disaster was not the current crisis in the country caused by the five-years-long austerity.
The closure of banks and the retention of bank deposits this week, as determined by the government to avoid a generalized run helped to create a climate of uncertainty. But, one may ask, was not government bound to it by the pressure of imperialism? Yes and no. He had to do that because the banks were not nationalized, a key issue to rescind the blocking of the European Central Bank.
The rich were not affected. While the negotiations were conducted, the big bourgeoisie and the banks withdrew the money they still had within Greece and transferred it to tax havens.
The Tsipras government will be responsible in case the campaign of imperialism is victorious and the YES vote win. It was the Greek government that sowed the reactionary illusion that it was possible an agreement with the Troika that would benefit the majority of the population. There is no possible negotiation to reconcile the interests of the majority of the Greek people with imperialism.
Remaining in the euro area and the continued payment of debt mean the submission to the German and French imperialism, and the acceptance of a growing austerity. A NO win in the referendum should be the starting point of a mobilization plan of the Greek workers, bypassing Syriza government’s objectives.
Greek workers need to take the country’s fate in their hands, saying NO to this and to all austerity plans. Workers must go on the offensive with their own demonstrations. The victory of the NO vote must be followed immediately with the expropriation of the banks to prevent the continued capital flight. Breaking with the euro and the debt payment is the major task.
We support the mobilizations around the world to support the struggle of the Greek people against the impositions of imperialism. We go to the streets to support the NO in the referendum on Sunday. Particularly in Europe, these demonstrations should require the governments to halt the shameful pressures on the Greek people and Tsipras government, and defend the cancelation of Greek debt with those countries.