“This is not what we voted for”, Ana, a bank worker, regretted. “The people are very disappointed. They are the same measures that existed before the referendum”, stated Panayiota, who works in a local cafeteria.
The disappointment felt by these two Greek workers (and probably by millions in Greece and all over the world who supported the NO in the referendum and celebrated its triumph) is more than justified. After that great victory that showed the will of the Greek people to face the Troika (IMF, EU and ECB, now called “the institutions”) and its dictates, the SYRIZA’s government capitulated once again. They presented a proposal that is basically the same than the one that had been widely rejected (more than 60% against the deal with the EU) in the ballots on Sunday, July 5.
There is no better word to define SYRIZA’s position other than treason. It is treason both to the aspirations of those who allowed Tsipras to take office (as a distorted expression of the struggle in the previous years) and also to the results of the recent referendum. It was an “announced treason” because Alexis Tsipras, just after the end of the referendum, did not considered it a popular mandate of struggle and rupture, but a base to “negotiate in better conditions.”
He did not even negotiate in “better conditions”: he capitulated in every point accepting the main exigencies of the Troika such as maintaining the foreign debt in its current value (without any reduction), the modification of the pension system, the increase of the tourism tax and the continuation of the privatizations.
And most importantly, in exchange for a purely accounting debt refinancing for three years (because it only benefits the creditor countries and banks as no real money will enter in the country), SYRIZA agrees that the Troika assumes the real lead of the country’s economy. The same as the governments of PASOK and New Democracy did at their times. It is no coincidence that the MPs of these parties support the government’s proposal.
Tsipras mortgaged most of his mandate and tied it to the Troika’s car. With this, just as his predecessors, he decided to become a full colonial administrator of the country and is preparing to an increasing attack on the workers and the Greek people. This is what he had already done by confiscating the money from hospitals and municipalities to pay the foreign debt. This is a sad end for someone who raised so many expectations.
The reasons for the betrayal
We regret this betrayal of SYRIZA’s government against workers and the Greek people, but we are not surprised. We warned about this real possibility in many articles and statements. For example, in our statement on May 11, we pointed out:
“To understand this policy, it is necessary to start with some key features. The first is the class character of the current Greek government. According to Marxism, it can’t be defined by its ideology or social class origin of its members but by the class character of the state it rules. According to this criterion, Syriza’s is undoubtedly a bourgeois government without any intention to change class character of the Greek capitalist state. […]
“This is an “atypical” bourgeois government that we callPopular Front. That is, a government in which the main role is assumed by labor organizations or petty bourgeois leftist leaders of the mass movement that make alliances with minority sectors of the bourgeoisie to rule the country. Actually, the Syriza government is not a historical novelty: it’s a renovation of old formulas of governments of class collaboration, used many times in the past, especially in periods of huge mass upsurge, to try to maneuver in this situation and defeat the working class ascent. The difference is that the place formerly occupied by Social Democracy or the old Communist parties is currently occupied by new political formations as Syriza (or those aspiring to that role, like Podemos in Spain). […]
“The second assertion is that Greece is a semi-colonial country. That is, it is a country where political and economic agreements submit it to imperialism. This is expressed in the character of its membership of the EU and the euro area (which led, for example, to the destruction of its main industrial sector: shipyards) or through foreign debt and its consequences (the sacrifices to pay and the ongoing monitoring of its economic policy). The Greek situation is similar to that of Latin American countries regarding its subordination to imperialism. […]
“There are two options for Syriza’s administration, to meet the aspirations of the Greek people or to capitulate to the troika. It chose the latter course of capitulation. It is demonstrated that any government that doesn’t break with the bourgeoisie and imperialism ends up (sooner than later) an instrument of finance capital.” (1)
What to do now?
Many Greek workers who trusted in SYRIZA and Tsipras’ government are disappointed. But this disappointment should not lead to paralysis but rather to return to the path of the tough fight that was made against PASOK and New Democracy when they were in office, and whose conviction was reaffirmed in the referendum.
To all workers and the Greek people, we affirm that there is no other way than the mobilization and struggle, independent of the government. It is necessary a general strike in defense of the basic demands of the workers, and against the austerity plans negotiated by the government with imperialism.
It is necessary to build a United Front, both in the streets and workplaces, to fight the Troika’s plans and austerity. The foundation for a true working class government, supported by the mobilization of the workers and the people as well as by international support, will be built in this way. This is the only way to defeat the imperialist attack and build a proletarian solution for Greece and Europe. The Greek workers are already preparing to protest against this new wave of austerity that the SYRIZA-ANEL government (supported today, in deeds, by the PASOK and New Democracy) wants to apply due to their commitments with the EU and the Troika.
Those inside SYRIZA (such as Left Platform-DEA) that opposed the signing of the new agreement (and voted against it in Parliament) can’t continue to sow illusions in this government: it is urgent to break with it, organizing the working class and people’s opposition (along with other left-wing organizations that are not inside SYRIZA) and build the United Front of workers to fight back, independent of the government.
And, more than ever, call the solidarity of the European workers and peoples to face this fight, raising the banner of a united Europe of workers and peoples, opposed to that of the EU, imperialism and the servile national bourgeoisies.
NO means NO!
For the immediate suspension of the foreign debt’s payment!
NO to all austerity plans or measures!
Out with the Troika!
For the immediate nationalization of the banks!
Out with the SYRIZA-PASOK-ND pact!
For a bailout plan of the workers and the people!
For a government of the workers and the people!
For the unity of the European working class to face austerity!