Syriza gave in to pressure by the IMF and the European Union
The government of Syriza, headed by Alexis Tsipras, who claims to be of the left, ended up giving in and agreeing to new adjustments against the Greek people. The left wing of Syriza came out to oppose it and denounce the pact of its government. So did other sectors of the Greek left.
By Miguel Sorans, IWU-FI, 23 June 2015 in The Socialist.
During the month of June there were decisive encounters that would put at stake whether Greece continues paying the foreign debt, with the adjustments and under the control of the Troika: IMF, European Union (EU) and European Central Bank.
The Troika set as final deadline to close a deal Monday 22. Finally the Syriza government gave in, agreeing to a new adjustment against the Greek people. Prime Minister Tsipras announced he would cut pensions again and raise the VAT, which means greater reduction in wages and living standards by raising product prices. The pension reform leads to a reduction in what is called early retirement and raises the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. Syriza accepts the imposition by the Troika of new social cuts. The goal is clear: to keep adjusting the working people to continue paying the debt and plundering the country to comply with the EU bankers. In return for the agreement Greece would receive a new disbursement of 7.2 billion euros, the „second bailout“. The alleged „aid“ or „bailout“ is a new lead filled life preserver binding Greece to German imperialism and the EU, with more foreign debt, which is unpayable, and wiping out the sovereignty of the Greek working people.
In January Syriza won the elections with a clear popular mandate to put an end to the „Memoranda“, i.e. to the continuous listings of unpopular adjustments which in recent years have sunk the Greek economy. With a lowering of 25 percent of GDP, unemployment climbed to 27 percent and the lowering of wages, pensions and social spending in many cases exceed 40 percent. Really criminal figures, of social genocide.
As soon as taking office, early this year, the Syriza government started leaving aside its mandate. It began negotiations with the hated Troika, to which it began to call „the institutions“, with the explanation that a „solution“ could be found in which „everyone wins“. With this policy, the government paid in recent months 1.8 billion euros and postponed, for example, without time limit its promise to increase the current minimum wage from €684 to its previous value of €751 euros (figures of misery, with European prices) and it continued with privatisations.
The results of this misguided policy are plain to see. The IMF and the Troika never stopped pressing and on top of it the Greek bankers had a free hand to organise a capital flight of three billion euros last week.
The only alternative is to break with the Troika and stop paying the debt
The path of half measures and wanting to coexist with the IMF has already shown it does not serve the working class and the peoples. This has already failed miserably in Latin America and failed again in Greece, from the hand of centre-left, reformist, governments, which end up reconciling with the bankers and the multinationals. A clear example of this was the PT government in Brazil, of Lula and Dilma Rousseff who paid the debt, agreed with the IMF to deepen misery, to the plunder and corruption. Today they are rejected by their own workers’ and popular rank and file. Tsipras and Syriza are following the same recipe.
The only way out for the Greek people is to keep fighting to impose the final break with the Troika, the EU and to stop paying the foreign debt. Here the money can be found to overcome the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Greece. Here is the money for pensioners, to raise wages and health and education budgets. Along with this, banking and foreign trade must be nationalised to cut all capital flight. A workers’ and people’s economic plan of emergency is needed. Half measures do not go.
These proposals are already claimed by broad sectors of the Greek left. On Sunday 21, thousands of people gathered in the streets of Athens, called by many of these sectors, to repudiate any agreement and demand the withdrawal from the EU.
Rightly so, at the last meeting of the Central Committee of Syriza, at the end of May, 44 percent of the leaders (75 out of 170) voted to break negotiations with the Troika, to declare a cease of debt payments and to nationalise the banks. Given the announcement of the new covenant several deputies and representatives of the left wing, members of the tendency Left Platform, have come out publicly to reject it.
For its part, the organisation OKDE (Internationalist Communist Organisation, Trotskyist), calls for, among other slogans: Break the negotiations with the EU and IMF now! Not a single commitment with the blackmailers of the EU and the IMF! Stop paying the debt! Out of the Eurozone and the EU! For nationalizations under workers‘ control! For the rehiring of all who were fired! For the recovery of what was lost in wages and pensions! At the same time they call to prepare a united mobilization, to go out to the streets and occupy the squares against an agreement with the Troika.
This is the path to break this new agreement with the IMF and the Troika and to impose a fundamental change so the crisis is paid by the capitalists, not the workers. In Greece a decisive battle is still being waged against the adjustment plans that imperialism and the IMF want to impose everywhere. If the Greek people win and defeat the adjustment plan, all workers win. So today, more than ever, is necessary the international solidarity with the struggle of the working people of Greece and its youth.