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From: The Socialist issue 850, 1 April 2015: No cuts to welfare!

Search site for keywords: Greece - Working class - Government - European - Syriza - Austerity - Xekinima - Euro - Banks

Greece: negotiations continue

Working class action key

Nicos Anastasiades, member of Xekinima (CWI Greece) spoke to Steve Score, editor of the Socialist. The full interview can be viewed at ('Interview with a Greek socialist')

What is happening in the negotiations between the Syriza government and the Troika?

They're not really negotiations - it's a war that the Troika has declared against Greece. The Troika and European elite are trying to implement the continuation of the austerity programmes which benefit the big European banks and European capital. The Greek government has taken a stand on some of the issues.

But at the same time it has accepted a lot of the agenda that the Troika wants to implement. Now these measures are agreed in general terms and both sides are trying to make them concrete.

So now the issue is what will happen in Greece - how will the working class and the social movements respond?

And what is the attitude of Greek workers to the Syriza government?

There was enthusiasm in the first days when the Greek government declared that it would implement all policies that it had agreed to before the election. That seems to have receded in a big way because people see that there has been a capitulation on the side of the Greek government in a lot of these demands.

So at the moment people are waiting to see where this is going to end. The government has agreed to a continuation of the programme until June or July so then it will be an issue again. What will be the new deal - if there is going to be a new deal?

And also people are waiting to see what will happen with concrete demands. For example will the government implement the minimum wage which had been proposed before the elections and stop the privatisation?

It's a period where people are giving the government some time because they understand that it's difficult, that we're under a very hard attack by the Troika. But at the same time they're waiting to judge it.

What does Xekinima put forward as a way out of the crisis?

We believe that it was shown during the so-called negotiations that the European elite are not willing to give in to any substantial demands to stop austerity. We believe there is a different way.

Greece is on a road from being an industrial developed country to becoming gradually a country of the underdeveloped world. So this has to stop.

We say the debt should not be paid - it was not created by the Greek people, it shouldn't be paid by us. We should nationalise the banks, we should impose controls on capital and foreign trade.

We should nationalise the big companies and put the Greek economy again in a situation where it can grow - but grow in favour of the people, not the capitalists.

Then the question of the Euro will come up - because the European elite threatens the Greek government that it will be kicked out of the Euro. We say that if the European elite don't accept this basic programme in order to avoid the humanitarian crisis that is ongoing, then the Greek government can still move forward.

We believe that the Greek population, but also the progressive European citizens who have nothing to gain by this, will be on side.

What are the developments on the Greek left and what are your proposals to go forward?

There's this historic change that the left is in power in Greece. This creates a whole new situation. Syriza arrived on a general mood which accepted big parts of its radical programme.

This is good, it shows that there are possibilities for the left, not only in Greece but in the whole of Europe, to propose a radical agenda and get the support of the population.

But at the same time we see that Syria is capitulating under the attacks of the elite. A lot of the rank and file in Syriza do not agree with these policies. We believe that if Syriza does not take a firm stand and capitulates even more, there will be huge unrest inside and outside its ranks.

From the other side there's the Communist Party and the anti-capitalist coalition Antarsya which have a sectarian approach towards the new government. They're not ready to give support when there are good measures taken. They try to portray it as the same as the previous government.

At the same time a lot of people in the rank and file of all the left parties, leaders of trade unions and of social movements, understand that we need to build a new layer that will fight for radical policies but at the same time not be sectarian towards Syriza.

We will be putting our forces into this idea in the next period that people from different parties, different movements and different trade unions will have to come together to create a policy and a structure.

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