Socialist Party, formerly Militant


Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Fight Austerity

Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy…

Fight Austerity

…in Britain, build for united strike action on 28 March

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Senan

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary

The misery facing the Greek people is summed up by the human tragedy of hundreds of families giving up their children because they can no longer afford to feed them. And yet the hated ‘troika’ – the big business institutions of the IMF, EU and ECB – demand even more pain.

The latest austerity package will mean a lowering of the minimum wage by 20%, and the cutting of more public sector jobs. The Greek prime minister – an unelected banker – and the main big business parties voted to inflict this unimaginable misery on the population of Greece. They were met with a mass revolt.

The Greek working class has shown relentless determination to stop their mass impoverishment by the vultures of the global markets and their representatives. Even the police union has joined in, threatening to arrest the troika!

On 10-11 February Greek workers took their 16th general strike action in two years, this time for 48 hours. Across the country workplaces and 20 local council chambers are under workers’ occupation. But the only way for the workers to halt the misery is to take power themselves.

A workers’ government would need to refuse to accept the dictatorship of the world financial markets. This would mean an immediate refusal to pay the debt.

It would mean the nationalisation, under democratic workers’ control, of the banks and financial sector, as well as the resources and key sectors of the economy.

This would allow the development of an emergency plan to invest in the mass creation of jobs and restoration of living standards. Any workers’ government that acted in this way would very quickly win massive support from the working class across Europe.

For us in Britain it is not too difficult to imagine what it is like to be living in Greece. Here too we have a government for the billionaires. Here too we are told the only ‘solution’ to the economic crisis is a decade or more of austerity for the 99%.

So far the cuts in Britain are not as severe as in Greece: but less than 10% of them have been carried out. If we do not show the same determination as the Greeks to fight back, there is no doubt that Greek-style misery will be our future.

But a mass anti-cuts movement could force this government into retreat. The next key step is campaigning for united strike action on 28 March against the Con-Dems’ attack on public sector pensions .

As in Greece, we must link this to the fight for a different society. Capitalism is not capable of providing us with the basics of a decent life – a reasonably paid job, a living pension, a home, a free education.

Only the fight for a democratic socialist society can guarantee these fundamental rights for all. If you agree – join the Socialist Party.

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