Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT),
11th July 2015, www.thecommunists.net
1. In an historical vote, more than 61% of Greek voters gave a clear response of “OXI” (“NO” in Greek language) to the bailout program proposed by the European Union in the referendum held on 5 July. Yet, despite this great victory, it took the Greek government just 5 days to agree with the EU bosses on a huge austerity program which is now presented as a compromise between the wish of the Greek people and the demands of the EU. The bitter reality is crystal clear to the Greek masses: The Tsipras-government has betrayed them in record time.
2. This betrayal was being prepared well before the referendum was even conducted. On 28 June Tsipras wrote a letter to the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission in which he agreed on the general line of the demands from the imperialist bloodsuckers. The referendum was just a tool to calm the Greek workers and poor and to strengthen the position of the Greek government in their negotiations with the EU Bosses. The result of this pre-planned betrayal is a new bailout program, developed by the EU Bosses and the Tsipras Government and passed by the Greek parliament with 251 votes in favor and just 32 votes against.
3. The €13bn austerity measures for one year and the €53bn for three years are mainly composed of massive attacks on the living standard of the Greek workers and poor. The bourgeois media presents the increase in VAT as a measure mainly hitting the restaurants for which the tax rate is being increased from 13 to 23%. In reality the VAT is being doubled on vital products like water, energy, and basic foodstuffs from 6.5% to 13%! This is a huge attack on the working class and the poor who will be the main victims of the increase of this regressive tax!
4. In addition, the measures of the new traitorous bailout deal will entirely phase out the solidarity grant for poor pensioners by 2019 and the retirement age will be set at 67 for all workers. Furthermore, the privatization of the former public telecom giant Hellenic Telecoms (OTE) will be completed. The largest part of the bailout program is a slap in the face of all workers and poor.
5. The leadership of SYRIZA characterizes the austerity program as an achievement because it also includes a ridiculous increase of corporate taxes from 26 to 28% in addition to its paying lip service to a fight on tax evasion. These pseudo measures against the rich are nothing compared to the soaking of the Greek people. No wonder that we already witnessed the first protest during the parliamentary session on Friday night when more than 8,000 people demonstrated against the ongoing betrayal by SYRIZA. The activists were mainly organized by the trade union PAME and some left wing supporters of SYRIZA.
6. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) condemns the Tsipras-led government and the SYRIZA leadership for their betrayal of the interests of the Greek working class and poor. In the past we have warned the Greek people that the leaders of SYRIZA will get down on their knees before the imperialist EU institutions and kiss the shoes of the financial sharks. The massive mobilization during the referendum showed the power and the will of the Greek people. It is now urgent to use this power and willingness to get rid of the imperialist parasites and their Greek lackeys.
7. We call upon the Greek labor movement to give a resounding response to the new austerity program by immediately beginning mass protests and strikes. An indefinite general strike must be organized to successfully fight back against the new bailout plan. The Greek workers, youth, and poor need to organize themselves in action committees in the proletarian districts, the villages, the workplaces, and the schools. These action committees have to form self-defense units to protect the strikes and especially the general strike against attacks which will inevitably follow by the fascist organizations and the repression apparatus, i.e., the police and the army.
8. We support the first demonstration against the new bailout plan which was organized by the trade union of the KKE, PAME, on Friday night. We call the members of the Stalinist KKE to break with their sectarian approach towards the supporters of SYRIZA and to join forces with all activists who are willing to fight against the austerity plan of the government. It makes no sense to condemn, as the KKE did, the activists who had or even still have illusions in SYRIZA. Rather, we call upon all honest supporters of SYRIZA who are disappointed by the outcome of the parliamentary vote to organize themselves in a mass movement against the austerity program and to fight the Tsipras leadership on the street.
9. In addition, we call upon all honest supporters of SYRIZA to form a radical left wing based on an anti-austerity program to fight against the capitalist crisis. Such a radical left wing must also challenge the current inappropriate leadership of SYRIZA. In this fight for the leadership it is vital that the radical left wing be willing to break with SYRIZA if it proves impossible to get rid of Tsipras’ betraying leadership, and to build a new authentic revolutionary party of the workers and the poor. In our opinion, such a new workers’ party should be based on a revolutionary program which calls for smashing the capitalist system via a socialist revolution. This is the only way out of the capitalist crisis. It is important to open the doors to all workers and activists who are now willing to build a revolutionary alternative but who are not organized in SYRIZA. This is especially important because we cannot trust the MPs of the left-wing to join us in the subsequent fight against the leadership of SYRIZA. Yesterday we witnessed this yet again: Only two MPs of SYRIZA voted against the austerity plan, eight of them abstained, and seven didn’t even both to show up for the vote. This is the demeaning behavior exhibited by a so-called left-wing when it confronts a massive betrayal by the Tsipras leadership! All activists of SYRIZA must now organize themselves, convene assemblies to discuss all the issues at hand, and vote democratically on all decisions to be made by the party, including the opportunity to replace the current leadership who betrayed the cause with new leaders whom they trust. But it is important that the new leaders be recallable at any time by the assemblies and conferences of the delegates of these assemblies.
10. It is time to topple the new austerity program, to form a radical left opposition in SYRIZA, to prepare the break with the Tsipras leadership, to unite the forces of all workers, youth, and poor no matter whether they support the KKE, PAME, SYRIZA, ANTARSYA or other organizations of the labor movement. It is time to join forces and prepare the implementation of an indefinite general strike to prevent the shifting of the entire capitalist crisis to the backs of the workers and the poor. We call upon all Greek workers and poor to fight for:
* The immediate cancellation of all cuts and austerity measures against the workers and the poor! The immediate cessation of all negotiations and payments to the financial sharks of the IMF and the institutions of the European Union! Break with the EU and prepare the Grexit as a means of getting rid of the imperialist parasites! Cancel all Greek debts!
* The abolition of all indirect, regressive taxes such as VAT! The institution of massive taxation on profits, on the property of the rich, and the expropriation of the superrich! Cessation of all ongoing privatizations and cancellation of all those conducted during the past several years! Nationalization of the banks, large corporations, and wholesale trade and transport, social services, health services, education, and the communication media, without compensation and their placement under workers’ control!
* Bring a halt to tax evasion of capitalists who even now are transferring their wealth to other countries! Complete expropriation of all funds associated with fake companies! Abolish all opportunities for multinational corporations to move their profits and losses within their business group across countries for the purpose of tax benefits! Confiscation of capital in the so-called tax havens!
* Build action committees and self defense units of the workers, the youth, and the poor to organize and protect an indefinite general strike! Such action committees can later be transformed into popular councils (soviets) and become the basis of a new workers’ government! A new workers’ government based on popular councils will end the capitalist crisis and open the road towards Socialism!
* Workers of Europe: Join the fight of your Greek brothers and sisters against the capitalist crisis! Build international solidarity actions with the Greek people to fight together against the imperialist bloodsuckers and their lackeys! Put pressure on the MPs of the labor movement in your countries to vote against the Greek bailout program as well as vote against any other austerity measures!
We call upon all workers and poor in Greece and internationally to fight together with us for these demands and to join us in building a new revolutionary world party of the workers and the poor, a Fifth Workers’ International!
International Secretariat of the RCIT