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Greek socialists speak out
There are many elements of the Greek
tragedy that we in Ireland can recognise. A government that claims in can
strike a deal with the Troika and then implements the austerity. An opposition
that promises much and delivers nothing. Of special interest in the account
below is the critique of the SYRIZA leadership, given that many in the
rest of Europe believe that electing “left” governments represents a way
of halting the austerity. One of the things that we do not see in Ireland
is the rise of a fascist movement, but what the experience of the Greeks
tells us is that the rise of Fascism is a real danger. There really
is no parliamentary way of heading off the coming storm and the socialists
who urge moderation, reform and restraint are risking the rise of more
forceful and violent forces on the right. (SD editor)
Organize – Occupy – Towards an Unlimited General Strike! *
OKDE - Spartakos, Greek section of the Fourth International, 09/10/2012
After 6 months of uproar against the government of the banker Papadimos, and following two consecutive elections in which the memoranda policies were spectacularly rejected, it seems nothing has changed, except the audacity of the “Hrissi Avyi” (“Golden Dawn” - GD) fascists to kill immigrants and attack left-wing activists. The same disastrous downward spiral, the same terror, the same banal references to “hours of responsibility” and “critical decisions” while workers’ lives are destroyed, the same slashing of wages, pensions and workers’ rights, mounting unemployment, insecurity and despair, and the spread of the neo-Nazis who profit from the social misery and capitalist barbarism!
There is no doubt that Samaras, New Democracy (the ruling right-wing bourgeois party), and their coalition partners, the now toothless PASOK of Venizelos, and the “left” crutch DIMAR under Kouvelis, have been telling blatant lies to the Greek people. There is no doubt that they have been sowing the seeds of racism, using fascist demagogy and encouraging the formation of the new SA battalions (fighting units of the German Nazi party before 1933) of Michaloliakos and Kassidiaris (GD leaders) in order to distract attention from their own criminal policies. They claim that their “moderate and reasonable line” of re-negotiation of the memorandum might appease the creditors and thus avoid the worst scenario of an uncontrolled bankruptcy and the exit of the country from the euro-zone. Very soon, these tales will no longer persuade anybody. Then the ruling class will fall back on the GD fascists and give them the green light to annihilate the workers’ movement.
It is clear that ND, PASOK and DIMAR will remain the guarantors of the memoranda policies, until we give them the boot. They do not lack “political stature” or the ability to find better policies. Essentially they represent the pressing need of big business to destroy the social gains of the working class to save the euro and to fulfill the “international obligations” towards the creditors and interest profiteers of the troika. They are utterly loyal to the “national cause” of the Greek ruling class and are quite aware they are “replaceable” if necessary. The Greek bourgeoisie wants to remain in the euro club and to have at its disposal a broken, impoverished, starving and racially divided working class.
According to recent media leaks, the Prime Minister wanted to “take all necessary measures”, even at the cost of his own downfall. He does not care about the “verdict of the people”, or his campaign promises, or about the anger and despair of millions of people who suffer from deepening poverty and unemployment. The three-party coalition installed by the bankers, creditors and the owners of the television channels, to secure the interests of the Greek ruling class, continue their wretched policies. The burden of system failure is to be paid by the millions of working people, women, youths and immigrants. The vast majority of the population, who did not cause the debt, will now pay for the usury, and are thus the prime victims of the cannibalistic capitalist crisis.
The rulers think they can escape social rebellion and the danger of a general uprising, by directing the anger and hatred of the poor onto the poorest, onto the most vulnerable, and towards those who never had rights. Thus they open the floodgates to the murderous hordes of fascists, the vilest instruments of the bosses, to suppress any workers’ and social resistance. They spread the ideological fog of nationalism, macho behavior, and stupidity - in a society that has never stopped resisting the corporate agenda.
It is high time to draw the lessons from the painful experiences of recent years: It is not enough to say that we are against the Memoranda. Samaras was a liar and demagogue under the “anti-Memorandum” flag. Today, he abandons everything and is proud of taking anti-labor measures that surpass every crime committed by the Papandreou and Papadimos governments. Kouvelis (DIMAR) was supposedly against the memoranda and became later the “anti-memorandum” component of the government. Today he supports the barbaric horizontal cuts in salaries and pensions, the raising of the retirement age, as well as the rapid privatization of public enterprises.
The SYRIZA leadership also claims to be able to stop the Memoranda policies, while keeping Greece in the euro-zone. But if there is no alternative, submission to the will of Rompuy, Merkel, Barroso and Hollande (another so-called socialist and “friend of Greece” who has accepted the European fiscal pact and has inaugurated austerity measures in France) cannot be excluded. This shows that if you respect the rules of the rich and powerful, you are doomed to adopt their policies.
It is impossible to put an end to the memoranda policies and to the “measures - packets” imposed every 6 months, or to end the brutality of the loan conditions, if we do not oppose the fundamental dogmas of the ruling class, and especially repudiate the “bankruptcy” threat and the insistence on staying in the euro-zone. We shall not be able to free ourselves from the terror of the markets if we do not oppose the functioning of the market in Greece. We shall not get rid of the memoranda without targeting capitalism per se. And none of this will be achieved without trampling the fascist snake and cutting off its head.
If we do not want our living conditions eroded daily, if we do not want to be reduced to standing in long lines to receive lower and lower unemployment benefits, if we do not want to leave the country as immigrants because the “boat is full” of unemployed, poor and "dangerous elements", as the mass media demagogues and fascists claim, we need to tackle the root of the problem. Our rulers must finally be forced, through a massive social uprising, to make their emergency departure by helicopter. We need to reject the slogans of the “ready solution of a new government” and the priority “of solidarity, and not of the struggles”, and the “responsible parliamentary opposition”. It makes no sense to sink so low as to beg the troika to grant Greece the “same terms as Spain and Italy.”
- For a political general strike!
- Workers' control - self-organization
in every workplace and in the neighborhoods!
- Down with the Samaras government!
For a Workers’ Government!
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