Socialism or Barbarism International Current , 13/07/2015

Categoría: English

Finally, after months of useless negotiations, the Greek Government has capitulated entirely to the Troika (European Union + IMF + European Central Bank). Ignoring the popular will expressed on the 5th of July with the massive “NO” vote  against the proposal of the Troika, an overwhelming and  massive vote among the working class and the youth, the Government of Tsipras has accepted an agreement even worse than the one rejected in the referendum.

The agreement enshrines all the capitulations on which Tsipras had already agreed, such as the increase in the VAT, the «reform» of the retirement system (meaning almost no one retires…), «labour market reform» (destroying collective employment contracts), etc.

If that was already a betrayal to the popular mandate, to Syriza and its own programme, the recent agreement goes even further. It adds the creation of a «Fund» to which Greece will transfer its State assets for an amount of € 50 billion, with the idea to privatize them in order to pay the debt.

Although formally this Fund will be based in Greece, it’ll be under Troika’s strict supervision, which will make sure the dismantling of the State (to which the new memorandum added the privatization of the State electricity company) goes directly into the pockets of private loan sharks and the IMF.

From an economic point of view, the agreement is purely neoliberal and wild (zero deficits in pensions, destruction of labor laws, demolishing the rest of the welfare state), and from a political point of view it confirms Greece semi-colonial characteristics in relation with European imperialisms, and above all the German imperialism, leading nowadays the EU.

Tsipras Government will approve some essential points of the agreement before Wednesday, to give «confidence» to the Troika, and only after that negotiation for the program will truly begin. That means in the end everything will be worse!

The agreement reaffirms that Greece will return under the tutelage of the IMF, and that the Troika will return to «work on the ground» in Greece, i.e. to daily control the Greek Government, which will in fact be a puppet government. All legislation already approved by Syriza which is contrary to the agreement shall be abrogated; all future legislation must be approved by the Troika even before being presented to Parliament.

As for the restructuring of the debt, the document says that the its unsustainability is a result of the policies implemented in the  last few months – as if Greece had not reached bankrupt with previous Governments! -, that Europe has already done much to relieve it, and that the Eurogroup is «ready to consider, if necessary, the possibility of additional measures» consisting of a lengthening of deadlines.

Any reduction or debt removal is absolutely ruled out, and the Greek Government is committed to «honour their financial obligations fully and in a timely manner». German imperialism, which after unleashing the second world war and drowning Europe in blood , benefited from a 50% discount on its public debt, today does not tolerate to forgive a single euro to Greece!

Reformism bankrupt

These events are the irrefutable proof of the bankruptcy of reformism, the blind alley to which Syriza’s politics, purely parliamentary, within the limits of the capitalist system and specifically the European Union and the euro, has led the Greek people. Other than the outright betrayal of the will of the people expressed with the NO in July the 5th, the agreement proved the insurmountable limits of reformism and the illusory nature of its willingness to «leave austerity without leaving the euro».

At the moment two conclusions stand out: the first is that a purely institutional policy, which refuses to attack the foundations of the capitalist domination, has no room for maneuver in the current economic and political situation. Secondly, the euro has once again confirmed its reactionary character. Reactionary not only in the sense that it serves as a transmission belt of the interests of major European imperialism, leaded by Germany. It also constitutes an obstacle in the popular consciousness when it comes to go to a stronger confrontation and a rupture with the system. It serves, in addition, as an alibi for Tsipras, who says that «the Greeks did not vote to break with the euro».

Against the great powers of the European Union, against Tsipras who seeks to pass the agreement on the grounds that «the prospect of the Grexit is left behind», it is more than ever the necessary to clearly defend the alternative of an anti-capitalist rupture with the euro, through the nationalization of banking system, foreign trade, and key sectors of the economy in order to relaunch the country at the service of the workers and the people.

The hashtag #ThisIsACoup has flooded the social networks reflecting the rejection to the blackmail of the Troika. Indeed, it is a coup, and in addition a humiliation of imperialism upon Greece. They pretend to ‘punish’ Greece through the memorandum for having dared to question the policy of austerity. And they try to punish not the reformist Government of Tsipras who has sworn allegiance to the EU from the beginning, but the Greek workers and their struggles. By doing so they want to terrorize the workers and the people of the European Union who dare to challenge the current course of destruction of the social conquests of the «welfare State».

But this also is a coup made by Tsipras himself. He is betraying the popular will expressed in the NO of the 5th of July, to carry out the policy of the Troika, to continue sinking the Greek people in the social misery during the years remaining of his Government. It must be said clearly: Tsipras Government has become without a doubt the new Government of memorandum and austerity. It must be fought immediately, and those who trusted him, even among the left-wing revolutionary sectors, must take the honest political conclusions of the Greek process.

What we must do now is to fight against the adoption of this new memorandum, stand up to the Government and its new partners, the neoliberals of To-Potami, PASOK and New Democracy.

The fight around the referendum gave birth to a rising social polarization and to the mobilization of large sections of the working class and the left. The great task today is to transform the capitulation of Tsipras in fuel for the resistance and not for the demoralization. In the past few days, different elements have shown that the capitulation of the Government seems to give rise to contestation and radicalization: the mobilization of 15,000 people against the agreement last Friday. The Civil Servants’ Confederation, ADEDY, called a general strike on Wednesday, which is also a huge step in this sense.

We must put build an united front for action, that unites all those who are opposed to the new agreement, which defend the euro exit, the nationalization of banks and a series of key measures to prevent the economic catastrophe that a «bourgeois» exit from the euro would mean.

The first task is to build the fight against the new memorandum, through a large unit of action that goes from the Syriza Left Platform to the anti-capitalist Coalition Antarsya, even though the KKE, which despite its sectarian «abstention» policy, still has an important influence among  workers.

For that it is also essential that Syriza´s Left Platform breaks immediately with the Government and calls for mobilizations, abandoning its centrist parliamentary politics and its «critical support» to the Government of Tsipras.

To sum up: workers and Greek people, their unions, student and neighborhood organizations, the millions who have taken to the streets in recent years against austerity, as well as political organizations who are willing to confront the Government’s and to propose an alternative plan, should stand up to fight the new memorandum and its Government, and to open the way for a solution to the crisis in the service of the Greek workers. A solution that starts with the anti-capitalist rupture with the euro and the power of the workers in the perspective of the Socialist Revolution.

Boost mobilizations in solidarity, mainly throughout Europe

The imposition of brutal measures to Greece has not only economic but also political reasons. They seek not only to collect «debts» that the workers and the Greek people never saw a penny of. They also try to spread terror throughout the European Union, deepening the social genocide that has place in Greece. «If you do not obey and accept more and more ‘austerity’, we are going to treat you as we treated Greece!» that is the message of the Troika for all the peoples of Europe!

In addition, that is today is a main political necessity for the coalition of imperialist capital that goes by the name of «European Union». The fact is that in many countries in Europe discontent and even resistance is growing against the endless «austerity», which is leading step by step being to a social regression unprecedented. This is expressed in new political phenomena similar to Syriza, as it is the case of Podemos, in the Spanish State.

This situation requires large and unitary demonstrations throughout Europe, from the workers, the youth and the popular sectors, in support of Greece and in condemnation of the genocides of Brussels and Berlin. Defending the Greek people, we defend ourselves! The genocidal austerity applied to them, is a sign of what awaits us if we do not defeat them!

We must not limit ourselves to «statements»! We have to prove in the streets of all the countries of the EU that we stand with the workers and the people of Greece against the genocide of the Troika. Unity of action and mobilization for Greece in all of Europe!