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From: The Socialist issue 857, 27 May 2015: Stop Tory welfare butchery

Search site for keywords: Greece - Austerity - Syriza - Government - Eurozone - Debt - Euro

Greece: subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?

Xekinima (CWI Greece)

We are now in the fourth month of the Syriza-led government's term. The result of so-called "negotiations" with the Troika - European Union (EU), European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - is zero.

The position taken by our so-called "European partners" is to demand every single instalment of debt repayment, without giving one single euro in new loans. This is a conscious policy of strangling the Greek economy with the aim of forcing Syriza to bend to their demands.

As a government spokesperson clarified, the Greek government has handed over 6.5 billion. In these conditions that is a colossal sum. It could help abolish the problem of survival faced by the hardest hit instead.

Syriza is continuing to make debt repayments in spite of the Troika's hostile stance. Stop retreating!

Syriza has abandoned cancelling the debt. It has compromised on privatisation. The anti-gold mining movement in Halkidiki is left suspended in mid-air.

Syriza has "postponed" a number of key measures - collective bargaining rights, a rise in the minimum wage, a Christmas bonus for poor pensioners, abolishing property tax for the poor, and more. Yet the Troika refuses to make any concessions.

Some recent polls give Syriza a mere 10% lead over right-wing New Democracy (ND). Not so long ago, the gap between Syriza and ND was about 25%. Syriza must tell the truth to the Greek working class - and not conduct secret diplomacy in the background, without workers knowing what is happening.

If the government refuses to concede, our Troika "partners" will force Greece to exit the Eurozone.

Grexit

The international mass media is hosting an open discussion about 'Grexit' - Greek exit from the single currency. Major states, global institutions and think tanks are preparing for it. But the Greek ruling class, its political parties and mass media refuse to discuss this increasingly likely eventuality.

They are hiding behind the supposed "desire of the Greek people to remain, at all costs, in the Eurozone" - according to polls they themselves produce. But the picture presented by the media will prove entirely false and could change to its opposite if Syriza changes its position.

In spite of the bosses' best efforts, the question of a referendum on the Eurozone is now open talk in Greek society. We say: if a referendum or new election is called, it must not be on the basis of a rotten deal with the Troika simply to stay in the Eurozone.

It must be held on the basis of a clear proposal to leave the Eurozone as part of a pro-working class, socialist programme. This must be combined with fostering the mass movement. Syriza should help establish popular assemblies, with workplace and community action committees, so workers and young people can actively participate in the struggle.

Socialist programme

To be consistent with pre-election declarations, Syriza has no choice but to break with the euro and move to a socialist programme. This must include refusing to pay the national debt. The government must also bring the banks, and major corporations that control the economy, into public ownership - under the elected control and management of workers and the public.

The only escape from the Troika's attacks is democratic production and economic planning to meet the needs of the majority, not enlarge the profits of the capitalists.

If Syriza does turn to the bold, socialist policies needed to achieve its pre-election promises, the working class and poor will give their wholehearted support. There is only one condition for this: Syriza must decide to fight, and fight until the end!

Faced with a choice of "subordination or rupture", the Greek people will decide on the second without any hesitation. Generations of struggle prove this. It's time for the leadership of Syriza to make up its mind!







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