|Written by IWL-FI|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 20:08|
Annul the Memorandum and suspend all payments of the debt Now!
For weeks now the eyes of the world have been fixed on Greece. The outcome of the legislative elections, fundamental to elect the government, caused many a sleepless night for all the imperialist powers, especially for the conservative and reactionary forces of the Europe of capital.
Greek toiling masses voted in the midst of a polarised political situation and with the economy of the country shattered by the activity of the administrations who are putting into practice the plans of the sinister Troika (IMF, Central European Bank and European Commission).The result was a very close triumph of the conservative right, pro-Troika and EU, represented essentially by New Democracy (ND). This party achieved 29.7% of the votes and so ensured their 129 seats in the Parliament, all this due to a totally antidemocratic law that gives a bonus of 50 seats to the most voted party. Without this tip, ND would not have managed to constitute a government.
Syriza, an ample front of reformist organisations, obtained a second place with 16.9% of votes and some 71 seats in the Parliament. The PASOK, the other traditional party submissive to the Troika reached 12.3% seat in the Parliament.
The coalition of independent Greeks achieved 7.5% (20 seats); the fascists from Golden Dawn achieved 6.9% (18 seats): Democratic Left got 6.2% (17 seats) and the Communist Party (KKE) received a miserable 4.5% equivalent to 12 seats in the Parliament (after having achieved 8.4% in the May elections).
A weak and illegitimate government
Rapidly fulfilling the briefing received from the Troika, the conservative Antonis Samaras from the ND presented a new government in Greece, which would be supported by the socialists from PASOK and the Democratic Left. The executive includes members of the ND and technocrats, with their outstanding figure of Vasilis Rapanos, director of the main bank in Greece and now minister of Finances.
The truth is that the right-wing administration, which surfaces from these elections, is a government imposed by imperialism, specifically the German and the French one, against the will of most of the Greek population.
The entire process has been marked by blackmail and pressure from the European imperialisms, a real campaign of terror to make sure that the parties that defended the continuity of the pillage and massacre of the toiling masses would win these elections.
The pinnacle of this raid against sovereignty of the country was the cover of Financial Times in its German edition calling to vote for ND as the last opportunity to remain within the euro zone.
The Greek press tried to broadcast the statements of the leaders of the German administration and of the EU, where only two options surfaced for the Greek toiling masses: either the Memorandum or the hyper-inflation. In spite of all this, the results of the elections left the parties that defended the Memorandum in minority. Six out of ten electors cast their ballots for the parties of the NO to the Memorandum and about 40% electors failed to vote, in a country where vote is not compulsory.
But the fraud of a regime that is unable to express the will of the majority of the population could also be envisaged in the constitution of the government into which the Democratic Left, a party that campaigned against the Memorandum, has been incorporated into an administration whose duty will be to impose the Memorandum and more sacrifice for the people.
This is a weak government. They could not achieve a majority of their own in the Parliament and must walk on the tight rope of a political situation where popular struggles of resistance against looting of the country continue. The parties that defend the social war against Greece obtained just over 40%. Most of the people rejected these parties and their policies of famine and capitulation. And it is in such conditions that the Samaras government will have to boost cuts and adjustments exactly the way Merkel and the Troika demand.
The ND, PASOK and Democratic Left are an illegitimate administration for it was imposed by the Troika and has no support from the majority of the population. Greek workers cannot afford to give a single day of truce to this government; they must walk into the streets and prepare the resistance, build their organisations in their workplaces, prepare the struggle against the laws that the Greek Parliament will have to vote so as to comply with the measures imposed by the Memorandum on rescue of banks.
The limits of Syriza
But unfortunately the main leader of Syriza, Alex Tsipras, is drifting in the opposite direction. He proposes a policy of “social peace” with a government that is at war with workers. At an interview on the day after the elections, Tsipras stated,
‘Asked about his strategy after last Sunday’s elections, Trispras responded that Syriza would not summon its hosts out into the streets to protest against the austerity measures (…) “Solidarity and resistance are important, but right now solidarity is the most important thing,’ he asserted. We went on to say that ‘right now our role is to be inside and outside of the parliament, supporting everything that is positive and exposing everything that is negative and proposing alternatives.”
“What did he mean by saying that “solidarity” is more important than resistance? The leader of Syriza explains it himself. When he stated that he will concentrate on the struggle “create a shield to protect those who are marginalised” This means that, instead of resisting the measures imposed by the EU, workers should feel contented with measures of “solidarity” to make up for the destruction of the country and its impoverishment. Instead of fighting we ought to create a shield of protection, i.e.: charity and resignation for the destruction of the country.
But what is more Syriza is throwing into the dustbin all the votes received from workers who said NO to the Memorandum when they say that they will “applaud” the positive measures of the government.
No positive measure will be taken by a government imposed on the workers by the Troika whose only commitment is to apply the measures demanded by imperialism.
The only way to rescue workers and not banks and financial capital is to establish a head-on opposition against this government, expose it right from the very first day, seeking support in the great amount of votes issued by workers and the resistance in the streets, in the neighbourhoods and in the workplaces.
To support any of the measures of this government and to criticise what is mistaken is a formula for shamefaced support for the government that will try to cheat workers, will talk about renegotiating the Memorandum while trying to gain time to keep on with the plan of privatisations, deposits and cuts in the budget.
Every condition is there for achieving the defeat of the application of these imperialist plans. Lack of legitimacy for the government to impose such plans, the crisis of the political regime can keep on if workers go ahead with their resistance and mobilisation.
But it looks like Syriza is about to head in the opposite direction, that of attempts at recomposing a regime in crisis an absolutely unable to apply the measures imposed by imperialism on to the Greek people.
From the NO to Memorandum to negotiation
Before the elections we defended the conformation of a left front hinging round Syriza, centred on the NO to the Memorandum and that this front should issue to mobilise workers and solidarity of European workers to confront the Greek and European bourgeoisie.
But we warned,
“Greek left is at the crossroads: expulsion of Greece out of Euro if Syriza does not yield completely to the Memorandum or does so insufficiently according to German demands; or yield in order no to be expelled from euro and keep on with the agony of the Greek people. Accepting the second option is betting on dooming Greek people to indigence; it would be political suicide of Syriza and would spell clear strengthening of the fascist referent and the banner of the split with the EU and euro would be hoisted by the fascist referent.
However, the speed of the events and the policies of imperialism placed Syriza at the crossroads even before election could be won. The contradiction between the immediate suspension and the insistent statements of leaders of the Syriza that they would fight to remain in the euro whatever the cost and negotiate with imperialism when the other said that there would be no negotiation anticipated the need for Syriza to develop their programme posing another alternative to the likelihood of Greece getting out of euro.
The five points presented for the electoral campaign did not respond to the fundamental issue that had polarized the elections: what was to be done in the face of the likelihood of being pressed out of euro.
During the electoral campaign, all the imperialist voices – from Merkel up to Obama – regarded the first point of the programme inadmissible: it was 1) Abolition of the Memorandum and the austerity measures and the counter-reforms and labour laws that are destroying the country – and they asserted: Memorandum or else expulsion from euro.
Parallel to the menace of expulsion, the imperialist and Greek bourgeois campaign in the media asserted that Greece out of euro would be a “playpen”, that is to say the retention of all bank deposits, there would be hyper-inflation; there would be no state resources to pay the civil servants without the “rescue” money.
Yannis Bournus, in charge of European policy, answered a journalist’s question on whether his party defended was for leaving the Euro zone saying, “This is part of the slander campaign against Syriza that has been going on for some time now. (…). Our programme and all the public addresses of our main leaders make it quite clear that taking Greece out of Euro Zone is not our political target.”
Next, Bournus say that leaving the Euro Zone would be “a disaster not only for the Greek people, but also for our foreign creditors.” That is to say, Syriza does not pretend to quit paying the debt; they are for limiting themselves to discuss what they consider the illegitimate part of the debt.
In the face of the blackmail about the expulsion from the euro, Syriza did not respond that this and the jeopardy of hyperinflation could be solved if banks were expropriated, if the multinationals were nationalized and if the government decreed control of the currency and foreign trade. That is the refusal to comply with the Memorandum that brings chaos to the life of the Greek working class; it would be the bourgeois and their property and their profits that would become the target of the new government.
If the departure from euro meant a disaster for the Greek people and the German imperialism said quite bluntly that failing to abide by the Memorandum meant going out of Euro Zone, some of Syriza’s potential electors concluded that it would be better to vote ND, that had started with the defence of the revision of the Memorandum and staying in the Euro.
The speed of events in revolutionary situations such as the one in Greece turns months into days. Syriza had two clear options in case they won the elections: they could keep on with the annulment of the Memorandum or would negotiate to stay within the euro. Imperialism anticipated the debate and demanded a categorical answer. Syriza did not take the unilateral split with the Memorandum to the bitter end for that would mean modifying their programme and seeking support from workers’ mobilisation, taking measures against financial capital, which would mean asserting that the chaos in the unemployment, lack of public health and the poverty that sweeps over the people who are the ones doomed to pay for the abandonment of the Euro Zone that capitalist must pay.
And it is here that the emergency programme presented in the elections lagged far behind the political polarisation spawned by the pressure of imperialism. It was then that the asserting of the non-payment of the debt, expropriation without indemnity of the banks, expropriation of strategic companies and the contraction of working hours guaranteeing full employment for all the unemployed and decreeing of monopoly of foreign trade.
The central problem of Syriza, apart from this reformist programme, has been the fact that they staked everything on the electoral way out and not on massive demonstrations to defeat imperialism and Greek conservatives. Because it is a reformist leadership, they regard elections as centre of everything; but this is territory controlled by capital. Bourgeoisie launched an intense campaign of terror against the Syriza vote and sought support from the most backwards sectors in order to win election. Syriza keeps on staking on the electoral way and the bourgeois institutions, playing their cards on the erosion of the new government and waiting for new elections.
Combat against fascism
Last week, a group of Egyptian fishermen living in the region of Pireo were brutally attacked while sleeping, a gas bomb was thrown into their lodgings and men armed with clubs beat the workers several of whom were hospitalised. The representative of the Afghan community reported that during last year, 21 workers were murdered and 42 were badly injured.
These actions are supported by and defended by Golden Dawning, which is no longer a caricature and now can boast 6.9% ballots being at present the first fascist that has any massive weight after the II World War and has become the top event of these elections.
This group of bandits used the methods of civil war against a part of Greek proletariat, the immigrants, for they blame them for the 23% unemployment and displays a cowardly attitude in the face of Greek bourgeoisie and imperialism and their plans of famine.
But a part of their discourse of split with the Euro Zone and the EU, which media insist on disqualifying, wound up by giving more political space to these murderers, found room among the desperate toiling masses due to lack of an internationalist split posture, posing expropriation of imperialist companies and banks that would appeal to the solidarity of the workers of Europe.
It is necessary and fundamental to constitute of organisms of self-defence of immigrants, supported by left-wing organisations and by trade unions; it is necessary to fight against this organisation for if it is not defeated, tomorrow it will raid against most of the workers and their organisations.
An anticapitalist and internationalist response
The response of most of the European left has been that we cannot allow people to take us for the nationalists. In the case of Greece, internationalism would stand for accepting the tutelage of the country by German or French imperialism that control most of the institutions of the EU. Create confusion among workers, for the internationalism that workers need has nothing to do with the RU and its institutions.
EU and the euro do not stand for any kind of unity for European peoples: they are war machinery in the service of saving the heart of European industry and finances: France and Germany – based on poverty for the countries of European periphery. EU belongs to the Europe of the bankers, the capitalists and the rich.
Any measure that may affect the real interests of Greek bourgeoisie will consequently affect the interests of imperialist capital, which dominates over Greek economy. Greek presence in the Euro Zone interests Greek bourgeoisie and their business. The price most Greek people will have to pay for keeping their bourgeoisie as junior partners and subordinate to the great European capital will be sinking further into poverty.
None of the fundamental problems that concern Greek people has been solved in these elections. The situation still tends to make the crisis increasingly deep in Greece, hot on the heels of the European situation. At present, the Troika asserts that a third rescue of 50 000 million euros will become necessary in 2014. Imperialist projections it that, if the Memorandum is strictly complied with, broadening privatisations, increasing enormously exploitation of workers so that companies will pay to the banks and the state will increase revenue dismissing 150 000 officials and increasing taxes. After all this is done, by the end of 2015, the debt would still amount to 178% of Greek GDP.
Taking this context into account, the imperialism policy is to further ransack the country that is already submerged in deep economic depression, dismiss and exploit even all after all this massacre. This genocidal plan depends on the development of the crisis in Europe as a whole and on the resistance of Greek proletariat.
In view of the above, there is no future for the toiling masses inside Euro Zone. The split with the euro is on the agenda due to the need to attack the private property of imperialism and Greek bourgeoisie, the only ones interested in keeping the euro to serve as lackeys of European imperialism in the region.
Agencia Reuters, Athenas News, 18.06.2012