61.3% Vote OXI in the Greek Referendum: A Victory for the Entire European Working Class!

A battle has been won, but the war against the EU and IMF continues! Nationalize the banks and media under workers’ control!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 6.7.2015, www.thecommunists.net

 

1.            The tremendous victory of the OXI campaign in yesterday’s Greek referendum constitutes a huge political blow against the arrogant imperialist bosses of the EU and their Greek lackeys. These reactionary forces wanted to humiliate the Greek people by issuing ultimatums and imposing yet another cruel austerity program on Greece. They sought to create panic by closing the banks and spreading hysteria via their media. Yet they failed. In every single electoral district of Greece the majority of people voted OXI (“NO” in Greek language)! Not surprisingly, the leading EU politicians are shocked and the stock markets have reacted with massive losses.

2.            This is a victory not only for the Greek working class but for that of all of Europe. It has demonstrated that the Greek workers and youth overwhelmingly reject the austerity policy which has been forced on them for the past five years by the EU bandits and their henchmen in Greece’s previous governments. This victory undermines the myth spread by the EU imperialists and the monopoly capitalists that their policy of huge cuts for the workers and the poor and tax breaks and state aid for the rich has any democratic legitimacy. Yesterday’s historic victory has the potential for raising the political self-confidence of the working class not only in Greece but in other countries as well, to fight against the barbaric austerity offensive of the ruling classes. It is the central task of revolutionaries in Greece and throughout Europe to now win the working class over to a perspective which can transform this opportunity into a reality.

3.            Obviously the Tsipras government is ready to capitulate and accept the EU’s bailout conditions. This was demonstrated by the concessions they have repeatedly made since coming to power in January, the most blatant concession being the transfer of 7.5 billion Euros to the EU’s financial institutions back in Feburary. This willingness to concede was re-emphasized once more by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ letter of 28 June to the heads of the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission in which he accepted the ultimatum of the financial sharks with only minor amendments. (See http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/01/news/economy/greece-prime-minister-letter-bailout-concessions/) Tsipras’ readiness to capitulate has also been demonstrated by his forcing Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to resign today, since the latter had become a figure hated by the EU bosses and the media they control. All this clearly demonstrates how wrong the left-reformist bureaucrats of the Party of the European Left and various centrists are to characterize Tsipras and the SYRIZA leadership as an authentic “anti-capitalist government”.

4.            However, while recent developments have underlined Tsipras’ readiness to capitulate this does not automatically mean that he will be able to capitulate. The crucial difference between the SYRIZA-led popular front government and other bourgeois governments is that that of Greece is now under the pressure of a radicalized working class. This will make it more difficult for the Tsipras leadership to make all the concessions which the EU bosses are demanding without provoking sharp conflicts with significant sectors of its political base. This pressure from the rank and file finds its expression in the growing left-wing inside SYRIZA.

5.            The decisive question now is whether or not the EU rulers and the Tsipras government will quickly reach an agreement about the austerity package. In effect this means: will Berlin, Paris, and Brussels be ready to accept a capitulation of the Tsipras government, or will they refuse to do so. How could Merkel, Hollande, and Juncker possibly refuse Tsipras’ acceptance of the EU-imposed bailout conditions? Because they may very well insist on publicly humiliating SYRIZA and the Greek people. The leaders of Europe’s ruling classes want to demoralize the working class which overwhelmingly supports SYRIZA. By humiliating the Tsipras government they may hope to undermine the party’s support. In addition, the EU bosses justifiably fear a “domino effect.” If the Greek people dared reject an austerity program, other people in Europe might have the same “crazy” idea! Especially Spain might be the next candidate for a similar referendum.

6.            If the EU leaders and the Tsipras government do not quickly reach an agreement, meaning that the political and economic crisis continues, this could open a pre-revolutionary phase in Greece leading to vast social eruptions. In addition, it might also bring about a crisis of the European Union. Clearly, in such a scenario the ruling class in Greece, in collaboration with their EU masters, will start planning a campaign to destabilize the country and to undermine the support of the workers and youth for SYRIZA. In the longer term, they may even consider the option of a military coup d’état like the one Greece experienced in 1967.

7.            What are the central tasks of revolutionaries in Greece and in Europe at this stage, beginning today, the day after the referendum victory? The campaign for a vote of OXI both reflected and strengthened the tremendous ongoing politicization of the Greek working class and youth. It also demonstrated the huge hopes and demands which many workers and youth have placed in SYRIZA. Revolutionaries should take these factors into account when deploying revolutionary tactics. First, they should demand from the government that it make no concessions to the EU. Second, they should call the SYRIZA leadership to nationalize all banks and financial institutions under workers’ control. Otherwise the country will remain a hostage of the financial sharks. Third, they should call for the nationalization of all the big media outlets and for their placement under workers’ control opening access to them by all workers and popular organizations. Skai TV and other private media proved during the week-long campaign up to the referendum that they are primarily tools of the capitalist class against the interests of the Greek people. Finally, revolutionaries should call for an end to the negotiations with the imperialist institutions and campaign for an immediate withdrawal of Greece from the Euro Zone and the EU. This is necessary because the imperialist monopolies must always strive to subjugate a Greece still in the EU. There is and can be no democracy in the world of the bankers and corporate bosses!

8.            Similarly, revolutionaries should warn the public about the looming betrayal of the Tsipras government. They must warn the workers and youth not to trust the promises of the SYRIZA leaders. However, it is also clear that significant sectors of the working class currently retain great illusions about SYRIZA. Hence, it is vital for revolutionaries to employ the united front tactic, i.e., placing demands on the party leadership, without creating the illusion that the SYRIZA leaders might ever actually implement these demands voluntarily. One such important demand is the call for SYRIZA to liquidate its coalition with the right-wing chauvinist ANEL party and to form a government without any bourgeois ministers.

9.            We condemn the sectarian approach of the Stalinist KKE which refused to call for voting "OXI" in the referendum. Instead, the KKE leadership instructed workers to cast an invalid ballot bearing their party slogans rather than to cast a NO vote, only because the latter was supported by its arch-enemy SYRIZA. This tactic of these bone-headed KKE Stalinists is similar to the ultra-left phase of the Stalinist Comintern in 1929-33 when it considered social democracy as its worst enemy and dubbed its proponents social fascists. We call upon the KKE members to break with this rotten sectarianism and to join the class struggle side-by-side with the workers and youth supporting SYRIZA. The party should support and initiate progressive struggles like those against privatizations, for higher minimum wages, etc.

10.          The most crucial task now is the formation of action committees in all workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, universities, and villages. There should be a national congress of delegates from local action committees and organizations of the workers’ movement that will discuss and vote on a strategy to be used during the crisis to come. Such committees should also start the formation of self-defense units to defend the workers’ movement against the fascists as well as against the police. Such action committees and self-defense units could also become the basis on which a future workers’ government will rest. The task of this government will be to expropriate the bourgeoisie and to fight for a socialist transformation.

11.          Naturally, the road towards such developments will be marked by the strongest possible measures of the ruling class including violently suppressing all steps towards socialism. This is why revolutionaries must now prepare the working class and the youth politically and practically for the inevitable armed struggle with the ruling class.

12.          Given the unevenness of where the class struggle stands today in Greece, compared with the situation of the struggle in each and every state in Europe, it is vital to spread the struggle against the austerity policy to the rest of the continent. Socialists in all European countries must exert pressure on all mass workers’ organizations to mobilize for an immediate cancellation of all Greece’s debts to the European financial institutions. Such agitation has to be combined with a program calling for the United Socialist States of Europe.

13.          The RCIT proposes to the Greek and European workers’ organizations to call for an international emergency conference in Athens to be held in the next few weeks. Such a conference could be an important step in creating an overall plan of struggle and in organizing an international mass campaign of workers’ organizations and social movements in support of the Greek people and against the austerity offensive in Europe.

14.          However, it would be foolish to tell the Greek workers to wait until each of the other European state’s working class has succeeded in stopping “its” ruling classes from implementing a national austerity offensive, let alone speak about overthrowing them. This is why a socialist perspective for Greece and for a United Socialist States of Europe is not in contradiction to a campaign for the immediate withdrawal of Greece from the Euro Zone and the EU. Such a perspective has to be combined with an emergency transitional program for workers’ power in Greece, i.e., the formation of a workers’ government.

15.          All such programs and strategies remain illusionary if they are not carried out by a concrete material force, i.e., a revolutionary workers’ party on the national level as part of a new workers’ international. Such a revolutionary party must fight for a socialist revolution in Greece and throughout Europe. All revolutionaries who agree on such a perspective for the Greek and international revolution should join forces. There is no time to lose! The RCIT looks forward to collaborating with Greek socialists in implementing such a political and organizational program!

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

For our analyses on Greece, we refer readers to:

* RCIT: Referendum in Greece on 5 July: Vote OXI! against the EU-Troika! No to any Austerity Program! Break with the EU and IMF! Nationalize the Banks and Media under Workers’ Control! 30.6.2015,

* RCIT: Greetings to All Greek Socialists Who Are Campaigning for a Vote of OXI in 5 July Referendum, 3.7.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-solidarity-greetings/

* Brazil Trade Unionists: Solidarity with the Greek Resistance against the EU-Troika! http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brazil-solidarity-with-greece/

* RCIT: Greece: No to the Surrender of the SYRIZA Leadership! 26.2.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/syriza-surrenders/

* RCIT: Greek Elections: SYRIZA Wins … and Forms an Alliance with Reactionary Racists! 27.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-syriza-anel/

* RCIT: Elections in Greece: Vote SYRIZA but Don’t Trust the Tsipras Leadership! Organize the Struggle in Workplaces, Schools, and on the Streets! Fight for a Workers’ Government! 22.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-election-statement/

* RCIT: Greece: Honor Pavlos Fyssas! Smash the fascist Golden Dawn, 21.9.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-smash-golden-dawn/

* RCIT: Greece: Down with the Trial against Savas Michael-Matsas! 23.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-solidarity-with-savas-matsas

* Nina Gunić: Solidarity with the Hunger Strike in Greece! Forward to a Revolutionary Migrant Movement! April 2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-solidarity-with-migrant-strike

* Michael Pröbsting: After the elections on 17th June: A new phase of the Greek Revolution is beginning! 19.6.2012, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-after-17-6-elections

* Michael Pröbsting: Greece: For a Workers' Government! Critical electoral support for SYRIZA and KKE! Workers: Organize and prepare yourselves for the struggle for power! 6.6.2012, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-for-a-workers-government

* Michael Pröbsting: After SYRIZA’s victory in the Greek elections: The question of a Workers Government and the revolutionary way forward, May 2012, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/after-the-greek-elections

* Michael Pröbsting: Perspectives on the Greek Revolution, 10.11.2011, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-revolution-or-tragedy

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