STATEMENT of IWL(FI)
Written by IWL-FI International Secretariat
Monday, 15 June 2015 01:02
Homeless outside former Education ministry
In the ongoing negotiations between the Greek government and the leaders of European imperialism, the last ones are demanding a package of measures that means no less than establishing the status of a colony followed by a declaration of war against the working class:
The retention of the privatization plan initiated by Antonis Samaras [the last prime minister, member of the rightist New Democracy], including airports and the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki; the implementation of the pension cuts; to maintain the ban on labor collective bargaining; to review the right to strike and the procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons, ofcourse to make them worse.
Moreover, as the debt payment must shed Greek workers’ blood and sweat, it requires that any change in labor relations is subject to the approval of the Troika. They also require a VAT increase and the end of fuel subsidies for heating and agriculture … It keeps primary surplus and cuts in social spending. It also raises the review of “pay scales” for state workers, i.e. cut in wages of public administration staff.
As if that were not enough, there is something rarely discussed and commented on the midia: The need to “establish an independent tax agency.” That is, the Greek State must relinquish the control over tax collection and pass it directly to the European Union (EU), abandoning any hint of sovereignty.
What imperialism says so clearly and that can’t hear only those who don’t want to, is that the price to pay to stay in the EU and in the euro area is the country’s colonization and slavery. The subjugation and humiliation of Greece is not dictated only by the looting policy but also, as stated by a spokesman of finance capital:”The European democracy has a new organizational premise. Citizens must still change their leaders from time to time, but only with the clear understanding that elections do not announce changes in direction. European elites, left or right, inside or outside the euro zone, kneel at the altar of austerity… No one dares to question the catechism of fiscal austerity.” (FinancialTimes, 05/06/2015).
That is, imperialism needs to crush the Greek workers for daring to say to stop the spiral of cuts, counter-reforms and overexploitation. The “altar of austerity” does not admit reforms: if Alexis Tsipras’ rejection to the dictates of imperialism are not followed by measures to break with the catechism of austerity, it will keep the country on its knees.
Two options: turn Greece into a German colony or suspend the payment of the debt and leave the euro area
The logic of replacing the strictausterity for an “attenuated austerity” leads to accept, although by negotiation, the terms of the imperialist dictates, since the only real strategy is limited to the horizon of keeping Greece at all costs in the euro area. But this strategy responds to none other than the interests of the Greek bourgeoisie and the bankrupted bankers; by keeping the country hostage of loans from the European Central Bank (ECB), so that their profits are preserved, while the working class is sinking into poverty.
Tsipras has complained that the the ECB submits Greece to an immoral financial strangulation. But imperialism knows no morality or humanity, qualities required by the Greek Prime Minister to those who refuse even to acknowledge their historical responsibility for the Greek Nazi occupation and barbarism during the Second World War. What Tsipras does not say is that his previous decision to sign the agreement last February is currently facilitating this “financial strangulation.”
It is worth to ask: What has Tsipras done to counteract the “financial strangulation” imposed by the ECB? He forced all state agencies (from municipalities to hospitals) to make available to the government their cash reserves to meet the payment commitments to the IMF.
But, was this the only way? No. Strangulation can’t be used to negotiate with imperialism. Instead, it is necessary that the government nationalize the banks without assuming their debts, unify them into a single state bank and decrees the control of the movement of capital.
But his government and his party, Syriza, have already announced that, for the sake of an “agreement”, they would throw out the window the program of Thessalonica, with which Syriza won the election. There is not a commitment to increase the minimum wage, to completely abolish the labor reform, not to increase the VAT, to unilaterally annul the debt, to cancel privatization, etc. On the contrary, they assume the privatizations but, indeed, in a “sovereign way.” Neither the reinstatement of public servants dismissed by the government of Samaras, as the cleaning workers of the ministry; only 1% would be reinstated, according to a government’s bill.
The sole and supreme argument used by Tsipras to justify the concessions is that he is not mandated by the Greek people to break with the euro. But the reverse argument is also true, because if there is something Tsipras lacks is a mandate to not fulfil Syriza’s program and his solemn commitment to end austerity.
Syriza’s option is to reject its commitments to workers. To carry them out, it must break their ties and commitments to the Greek bourgeoisie, to its allied bourgeois party in Parliament, ANEL, and in particular to bankers, the partners of imperialism in looting the country, parasites of the big European sharks.
To end austerity, it should order the immediate suspension of debt repayment. If Tsipras refuses to do it, he must follow the logic of the cuts, privatization and exploitation of workers.
We say to the Greek workers that there is no other way than their independent mobilization and struggle. It’s necessary to call a general strike in defense of their basic demands and against the austerity plans negotiated by the government with imperialism. It is time to take to the streets and demand: No negotiation in the framework of the imperialist dictate! Immediate suspension of the debt payment and nationalization of the financial sector! Make an urgent internationalist appeal of solidarity to the European workers and in the whole world!
The currents inside Syriza against the signing of the new memorandum (such as the Left Platform) can’t continue to sow illusions in the government: it is more than necessary to break with the Tsipras-ANEL government, organize the workers and people opposition and build the united front of workers, independent of the government, to forge ahead the unity to fight. And, more than ever, to call for the European solidarity against the boycott and raise the flag of a united Europe of workers and peoples.
Considering this prospect requires a government that supports and responds to the organized working class and the people, that takes the necessary steps of rupture and articulates solidarity. We mean a workers’ government and the need to take steps forward the current political reorganization to build a revolutionary leadership.
Finally, we ratify our willingness to cooperate and assist organizations and activists of the Greek left to form a workers’ and socialist opposition to the government of Tsipras.
Solidarity with the Greek people! Cancellation of Greek debt!
We call on all parties, organizations and trade unions in the European countries that are “creditors” of the Greek debt (France, Germany, Italy, Spanish State, etc.) to start an immediate campaign for the cancellation of the debt. The Greeks workers don’t owe us anything: the Greek “bailout” that caused immense sacrifices for the Greek people aimed only at saving the creditor imperialist banks from bankruptcy, particularly the German, French and US banks, committed with large loans in the country. The EU bailout was nothing more than the transfer of bank debts to States to make us pay for them. The struggle for the cancellation of the Greek debt is the same as we do in our countries against cuts and austerity.