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!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30.6.2015, www.thecommunists.net
1. The SYRIZA-led government has announced a popular referendum on 5 July in response to the latest ultimatum from the EU-Troika. Since issuing their threat, the European imperialist governments and the media as well as their Greek comprador-lackeys (e.g. ND, PASOK, Potami) are trying to provoke panic in Greece. In fact, it is actually they who are panicking! For the henchmen of the financial jackals, who are ostensibly for bourgeois “democracy,” this holding of a referendum is going much too far: How can the Greek government dare let the people vote on an austerity program?! What would happen if in other countries people would also be asked to vote on social cuts?! No, according to the EU-Troika, there is no place for such degrees of democracy in the world of corporation omnipotence and austerity programs!
2. But, as we shall immediately see, the call by the prime minister and his government for the Greek people to decide on what is to be done is a cynical maneuver on the part of Tsipris and his reformist colleagues. From the beginning of their government, the RCIT has pointed out that it would be foolish to have any illusions about the SYRIZA leadership; that they would ultimately be forced to cave into the demands of Greece’s creditors once the real test of class conflict is to be faced. Tsipras and Co. want to keep Greece in the Euro Zone and the EU, despite the fact that both are imperialist projects in which semi-colonial countries like Greece are – and can only be – exploited by the European oligarchs. It is this desire which has repeatedly made them ready to make concession after concession to the European oligarchs: On 20 February, they agreed – in open contradiction to their election campaign promises – to continue the policy of privatization, as well as to pay back all debts to the imperialist financial institutions. Likewise, they failed to raise the minimum wage back up to its pre-2010 level. Since January 2015, the Tsipras government has paid almost 7.5 billion Euros to the financial sharks! Recently, in the negotiations with the EU-Troika, they offered an 8 billion Euro package which included severe cuts on pensions and VAT increases as well as some taxes on the capitalists.
3. However, these compromises were not enough for the EU rulers. They want an austerity package which attacks only the workers and poor. In addition, Brussels wants to humiliate and finally get rid off the SYRIZA government because it considers it not reliable enough. The reason for this is that the Tsipras government is not the usual bourgeois government. It is rather a popular front government, i.e., a coalition of SYRIZA, a bourgeois workers’ party which controls 149 of the 300 seats in parliament, and ANEL, a small right-wing racist party. As a bourgeois workers’ party, SYRIZA is under pressure from the working class which is enraged about the ongoing austerity policy. This is particularly expressed in the repeated protests of SYRIZA’s left-wing against Tsipras each time he offers to capitulate to the Troika pressure.
4. The RCIT – like all honest socialists and democrats – calls on the Greek people to cast an unequivocal OXI! (“NO!” in Greek language) against the austerity package which the EU wants to impose on it! We call upon the Greek workers and oppressed not to play into the hands of the Troika or to collaborate with the insincere manipulations of the government.
5. But voting OXI! in the referendum on 5 July, while absolutely necessary is, in itself, an insufficient step. Socialists in Greece have to use the campaign to reject of the EU-Troika ultimatum in order to further mobilize the working class against the austerity package proposed by the Tsipras government. Furthermore, the imperialists will sooner or later succeed in blackmailing Greece if the country does not undertake the following emergency measures:
a) Immediately nationalize all banks and financial institutions under workers’ control. This is the only way to avoid the financial bleeding and blackmailing of Greece by a small gang of greedy oligarchs.
b) Immediately nationalize all of the big media under workers’ control and open access to them to all workers and popular organizations. This is the only way to stop the hysterical campaign of the corporate press which is only serving to intimidate the people.
c) Immediately withdraw Greece from the Euro Zone and the EU. As long as Greece is a member of these imperialist clubs the country will be dominated by the big monopolies and powers.
6. It is vital that socialists advance the organization of workers and youth in action committees in workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, universities, and villages. Such councils could then be developed into full, direct democratic mass councils (like those which were called soviets in Russia in 1905 and 1917). We support calls of socialist organizations like the EEK and OKDE for a national congress of delegates from local action committees and organizations of the workers’ movement in that will discuss and vote on a plan to fight against the crisis. In addition, it is necessary to advance the formation of self-defense units to defend the workers’ movement against the fascists of Chrysí Avgí (Golden Dawn) as well as against the police. This is the only way for the working class to overcome its dependency on the decisions of party and trade union bureaucrats, and to ensure that their interests – and no one else’s – are followed.
7. The RCIT proposes to socialists in Greece that they combine agitation for such an emergency program with propaganda for a transitional action program for Greece which will aim at expropriating the bourgeoisie, cancelling all debts, instituting a public works program to eliminate unemployment, and undertaking the necessary investments to rebuild the country, as well as creating a workers’ government based on popular councils and militias.
8. Socialists should prepare the working class for pre-revolutionary developments in the near future. If the EU bosses and the Greek comprador-lackeys do not succeed in subjugating the workers and poor, they may look for other ways to do so. For example, they could organize a boycott of the SYRIZA government and all public services by their own supporters working in the public services; they could stage an “orange (counter-)revolution”; they could lend support to the fascists; the army command could float the idea of a military coup; etc. Wherever the future will lead, socialists should prepare the Greek working class for fundamental change, i.e., the creation of a just, socialist society, which can only be brought about by a socialist revolution. Such a revolution can only take place not as a peaceful transformation via parliament or mass public pressure, but only by means of an armed insurrection against the ruling class and their state apparatus.
9. The RCIT condemns the treason of the KKE – the Greek Stalinists – who, until now, have failed to call for voting OXI! in the upcoming referendum. Instead, the party’s leadership advocates the asinine idea of voters’ invalidating their ballot by writing some KKE slogans on it. No doubt, the EU bosses greet such help from the phony “left”.
10. Similarly, the RCIT denounces the LINKE – sister party of SYRIZA in Germany – the majority of whose deputies voted for the rotten 20 February agreement which continued the imperialist plundering of Greece. We also condemn Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the French Parti de Gauche, who attacked SYRIZA for refusing to capitulate to the EU-Troika since “this would hurt French banks”!
11. We repeat our calls to the left wing in SYRIZA (KOE, DEA, Kokkino, etc.) to openly fight against the Tsipras leadership, instead of kowtowing to its reactionary decisions (like forming a coalition with the racist ANEL party; voting for the conservative Prokopis Pavlopoulos as Greece’s President; etc.). It is urgent that the left wing of SYRIZA prepare to split with Tsipras and build an authentic workers party.
12. The European workers’ movement must now come to the rescue of the Greek people! Workers must mobilize against the EU-Troikas’ policy of bullying and humiliating Greece. They must fight for the immediate cancellation of all Greece’s debts to the European financial institutions. Furthermore, the European workers’ movement must call for the immediate payment of reparations to Greece both for the huge damage done to the country during World War II (by Nazi Germany) as well as by the imperialist plunder of Greece in recent years. European socialists should combine such international solidarity with a program calling for the United Socialist States of Europe.
13. The strategic task in Greece remains the formation of a revolutionary party in the country as part of a new workers’ international. Such a revolutionary party must fight for a socialist revolution in Greece and throughout Europe. The RCIT calls upon Greek socialists to foment international collaboration of all workers and oppressed on the basis of a revolutionary program.
For our analyses on Greece, we refer readers to:
* 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