Greece: No to the Surrender of the SYRIZA Leadership!
Break with the EU! For a Workers Government
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 26.2.2015, www.thecommunists.net
1. Negotiations with the EU (Troika) are now concluded. The leadership around Tspiras has betrayed the interests of workers and the poor of Greece yet again. SYRIZA was elected on a mandate not to implement neo-liberal austerity policies. SYRIZA has ignored their mandate of no austerity policies and carried out the wishes of the EU. Tspiras has agreed that privatisations and austerity measures, agreed by the last government, will be not be reversed unilaterally by the SYRIZA government if they have – according to the EU, ECB and IMF – “negative consequences for the budget, economic growth or financial stability.” During the election campaign the SYRIZA leadership promised a substantial debt cancellation. SYRIZA has now gone back on its word and now recognises the legitimacy of all debts and has undertaken to repay them. While the “Troika” has been renamed to “Institutions”, the essence of the regime remains: the Greek government must present their entire economic and social programme to the European powers for approval. Moreover the Tspiras leadership has promised the EU leaders that SYRIZA will now privatise the State Utility PPC and the network operator ADMIE. So Tspiras and his advisers return from their meetings with the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission accepting their demands for privatisation of public enterprises, having offered no opposition whatsoever to the EU financiers. Imperialist predators, companies in China and Italy, are eager to take advantage of the privatisation of the PPC and ADMIE. The sale of a proportion of state assets is just the beginning of the privatisations of state owned companies which Tspiras has agreed to. (1) The agreed extension of financial support from the EU of 240 billion Euros is sufficient reward for the imperialist sharks waiting in the wings. (2) This was reflected by the soar of the Greek stock market by 10% at the conclusion of the negotiations. (3).
2. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) has warned in its statements of the imminent betrayal of SYRIZA. We stated this already well before the election of the 25th January. (4) The broad support amongst sections of the population for a SYRIZA government – opinion polls reported 65%-80% (5) – is based on SYRIZA’s campaign promises included a refusal to carry out the required cuts in public services and privatisations insisted upon by the EU governments. The RCIT’s warnings, not to put any false illusions in election promises by SYRIZA, have been confirmed with the criminal popular front policy which SYRIZA has conducted by its alliance with the racist right wing party ANEL as well as the recent election of a leading politician of Nea Dimokratia (ND), the main conservative party of the Greek bourgeoisie, as the new President of Greece. Prokopis Pavalopoulos, nominated by of SYRIZA as President, was for five and half years Minister of the Interior in the conservative Karamanlis Government, known for numerous scandals and corruption. Indeed, the Tsipras leadership does not miss an opportunity to demonstrate to the Greek and European bourgeoisie their service as lackeys!
3. The Left Platform – the left wing of SYRIZA which assembles about 1/3 of the party’s parliamentary faction – has protested only moderately against Tsipras criminal policy until now. For example it voted in parliament for SYRIZA’s coalition with the right wing racists as well as for the election of a conservative President. However the resentment among SYRIZA activists is reflected in the conflicts inside the party’s leadership and parliamentary faction. SYRIZA MEP Manli Glasoz, a 94 resistance fighter against the Nazis in the 2nd World war, is typical of many responses to the Tspiras leadership “From my part I apologize to the Greek people for having assisted in this illusion. Before we continue in the wrong direction, before it’s too late, let’s react. Above all, the members, the friends and supporters of SYRIZA, in urgent meetings at all levels of the organization, have to decide if they accept this situation. Some people say that in an agreement you also have to make some concessions. But as a matter of principle, between the oppressor and the oppressed there can be no compromise, as there can be no compromise between the slave and the tyrant. Freedom is the only solution.” (6)
4. In particular, resistance is forming against the latest deal with the European Union. Even Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave an interview in which he said “our position is very simple: the sellout of the family silverware [i.e. Greek state assets] in humiliating prices, and in a way that does not provide growth-momentum for the economy, needs to stop.” The minister of Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis finished even bidding process for the state energy company PPC. At the same time we must not forget that it was Finance Minister Vardoulakis, who warned against the radical utopia to abolish capitalism. According to Vardoulakis we should rather apply the principle: “…a repugnant European capitalism whose implosion, despite its many ills, should be avoided at all costs.” He continues: “If this means that it is we, the suitably erratic Marxists, who must try to save European capitalism from itself, so be it.” (7) There are now more critical voices even in the highest circles in the party. But these left wing leaders argue over the details of the sell out because basically they support the cooperation with the EU and the continuation of austerity in Greece. The unpredictable Marxist proves to be predictably a supporter of capitalism instead.
5. The central task is now to build a left-wing, revolutionary faction inside SYRIZA amongst the rank and file activists, who will continually fight against the adaption of the Tspiras leadership to the bourgeoisie. This faction should be composed of all honest activists and fighters in SYRIZA who want to implement an authentic proletarian policy inside SYRIZA. This left wing should carry out sharp criticism of the right-wing course of the leadership. All MP’s of the Left Platform must vote against anti-worker policies. Manlis Glasov’s call for assemblies of the rank and file should be supported and used to deal a blow against the treacherous policy of Tspiras leadership. It is high time to build a left-wing opposition which is willing to break with the party leadership und to unite with all revolutionary forces inside and outside of SYRIZA to build a new, revolutionary workers party.
6. To build such a left wing on a solid foundation it is necessary to organise politically the most advanced sections in the party on the basis of a revolutionary alternative and to put a number of demands to the Tspiras leadership. Only by this united front policy can we build amongst the popular masses of the Greek population. The danger is that if socialists fail in this task, the fascists forces of ‘Golden Dawn’ will profit from this and grow massively. Socialists must be aware of the wrong tracks of the left-reformist and centrist forces who seek to disarm the working class and disorient it. The workers vanguard must prepare for a new phase of struggle for proletarian power leading to the seizure of power and the beginning of a socialist revolution.
The RCIT is calling for support for the following demands:
* Immediate termination of all negotiations with the EU including the IMF, ECB etc.! For Greece to immediately leave the EU!
* For a broad pan-European movement of solidarity with our Greek class brothers and sisters organised by the workers movement in Europe. For the cancellation of all debts of Greece through strikes and a general strike!
* SYRIZA to sever its alliance with ANEL and end all popular front policies! No support for Nea Dimokratia or other non-proletarian parties!
* For the building of Action Committees for the struggle against the memorandum policy. For mass demonstrations, for a general strike and for factory occupations!
* For a Workers Government based on action committees in proletarian districts and villages! For properly trained defence guards to protect workers and their families! All workers parties and trade unions – GSEE, ADEY, PAME, KKE, SYRZA, DIMAR and ANTARSYA – must support such a government!
* No to further privatisation! Any privatisations carried out to be redeemed and put back under state control! Expropriate the super-rich in Greece including the owners of major shipping companies! Create a single state bank under workers control!
It is necessary to build a revolutionary party in Greece. This revolutionary party must fight for a way out of the capitalist crisis. It must orientate towards an armed uprising of the masses. We need a socialist revolution in Greece and throughout Europe.
We appeal to all honest revolutionaries in Greece and elsewhere who want to implement this policy to join the RCIT.
(1) Left wing nagging on Greek deal, Tsipras walks tightrope, 25 February 2015, http://www.thetoc.gr/eng/politics/article/left-wing-nagging-on-greek-deal-tsipras-walks-tightrope
(2) Gabriele Steinhauser: Doubts Shadow Greek Bailout, Wall Street Journal, 25 February 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/greek-bailout-extension-approved-by-eurozone-finance-ministers-1424764737
(4) See numerous statements of the RCIT like “Greek Elections: SYRIZA Wins … and Forms an Alliance with Reactionary Racists!, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-syriza-anel”, “Greece: Which perspectives after SYRIZA's election victory?,”, “Elections in Greece: Vote SYRIZA but Don’t Trust the Tsipras Leadership!, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-election-statement”, “Greece: The lack of leadership. Perspectives of the revolution! www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/greece-revolution-or-tragedy”, and many other at www.thecommunists.net
(5) Isidoros Diakides: Greek drama: A preliminary review of the first four weeks of the SYRIZA government, http://links.org.au/node/4305
(6) Manolis Glezos: Glezos denounces Greek loan agreement as “illusion”, 22 February 2015, http://roarmag.org/2015/02/glezos-greek-bailout-illusion/
(7) Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist, www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/18/yanis-varoufakis-how-i-became-an-erratic-marxist