STATEMENT of IWL(FI)
Written by IWL-FI International Secretariat
Sunday, 23 August 2015 22:49
On Thursday, August 20, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister and main leader of Syriza, announced that he will resign to trigger snap early elections because “The popular mandate I received on January 25th has run its course.”
This decision is a clear maneuver, typical of parliamentary-electoral gambles of bourgeois politics. On the same day it was broadcast that the Left Platform had split from Syriza to form the Popular Unity [now the third largest parliamentary group], with its own parliamentary bloc and presenting separately in the upcoming elections.
Tsipras and Syriza’s majority betrayed the struggle and aspirations of the Greek workers after signing the recent agreement with the European Union and the foreign debt creditor banks. This agreement contains a brutal austerity plan and measures that point to an even greater loss of sovereignty, as the privatization of the country’s 14 airports and their sell-off to German companies.
They betrayed the heroic struggle of recent years against the previous austerity plans, the aspirations expressed in the last January elections (which put Syriza in office) and, very clearly, the result of the referendum last July 5 that, by a large majority, rejected the Troika’s bailout.
However, this betrayal has not been clear to the masses. Tsipras has managed to play the role of “victim” of the EU and Angela Merkel, saying he achieved “the best possible agreement” that it “calls for tough measures” but saved the country. In this context, the polls indicate that he and Syriza could increase the voting achieved in January.
This confusion of the impoverished population is possible because they haven’t felt yet the impact of further tax increases and other bailout measures, as privatizations, agreed last July that will be implemented by the government. When it is made clear what that austerity plan entails, the prestige of Tsipras and Syriza could fall at high speed. Therefore, he decided to anticipate the elections before that happens so that he can say “he received a mandate to implement the plan” if he wins, seeking to demoralize, divide and defeat the working class and the masses. As we have noted, it is a typical maneuver of bourgeois politics, which also aims at keeping the masses in the electoral arena instead of fighting the austerity plan and its consequences.
We have never supported this government. We call to fight it and to form a workers and left opposition to face its capitulation to the dictates of the Troika and the measures against the workers and the people.
In the current electoral period, we call the vote for Antarsya, a Left organizations front formed in 2008 that maintains a position of opposition to Tsipras and his government, and has positioned clearly against the agreement between the government and the EU. We further agree with this front in its call to continue the protests against the imperialist blackmail and its claim that agreements within the EU are not possible, from which it proposes to split as well as with the euro.
The Left Platform (led by Stathis Kouvelakis and Panagiotis Lafazanis) strongly criticized the recent agreement with the Troika and their MPs opposed it in the Parliament. Nevertheless, it took too long to break with the government and Syriza. Its current split appears essentially to be motivated by electoral reasons and the absolute impossibility of going on the same lists than Syriza’s majority. As we have criticized it before for not breaking, now we say they have taken a positive step.
However, this split can’t be limited to the parliamentary field. It is necessary to form a working class and left opposition bloc, between the Popular Unity, Antarsya, the KKE (calling it to set aside its divisive and self-proclamatory sectarianism), and the trade unions to fight and face the austerity plan in the workplaces and on the streets.
In that perspective, it would be a step forward the formation of an electoral front of the left and the working class between the Popular Unity and Antarsya (to which the KKE could join) and in this case, we would call to vote for them. If that front is formed, it would be presenting an leftist electoral alternative to the betrayal of Tsipras, whose influence and potential to boost the struggles would grow, to the extent that the future government of Tsipras starts applying the grueling austerity plan and privatizations, and workers and the masses start facing them.