We salute the Greek masses for standing up to economic blackmail by world imperialism, rejecting their attempts to put you into total slavery.
Let us not forget that the origin of the state debt was the bailing out of the very banks, which have mostly German and French capital. The Greek state was forced to borrow from the very French and German banks to bail themselves out. Thus the so-called aid has nothing to do with saving the Greek masses but with bailing out the indebted German and French banks with the blood and sweat of the Greek masses.
In January the masses rejected austerity (grand theft by imperialism) by supporting Syriza. On the 5th July 2015 an even greater margin of the masses rejected it. There were spontaneous protests in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe by the masses. The masses know that imperialism wants to generalise their attacks on the Greek masses to other sections of the masses in Europe. If they succeed in Greece, then the masses in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the rest of Europe will also fall under the imperialist jackboot.
In fact we can say that the imperialists want to
generalise their attacks
on the Greek masses to the rest of the world’s masses. The question is why.
The deep economic crisis of 2008 has not ended; it is still ongoing. The stagnation of the world capitalist economy has led to further attacks on the masses. This has sparked a world political revolt of the masses. Every capitalist regime is under threat while at the same time all the traditional forces that capitalists use to control the masses have been discredited. There are uneven levels of resistance from the masses around the globe. Increasingly the capitalists have used brute force to attempt to break resistance against them. This brings risks as the masses’ response could begin to topple capitalist regimes and place workers’ power and Socialism on the order of the day.
In Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, the imperialists have managed up to now to infiltrate and subvert the resistance of the masses. In Greece, so far the masses have held out and if the working class is able to take power into its own hands, the example may spread not only throughout Europe but indeed throughout the world. This is why imperialism is fighting tooth and nail to try to break the spirit of the Greek masses. This is why we need to generalise support for the Greek masses to all corners of Europe and the globe.
The debt should immediately be declared odious- the masses should not pay
In January already the Syriza govt had a mandate to reject the debt, to declare it odious and to reject any negotiations on it. Now they have an even stronger mandate. This should be the first step. If the Greek capitalists and the imperialists try to drain the country of capital, all the banks and imperialist assets should be nationalised, without compensation and placed under workers’ control. If the imperialists try to cut off Greece then there should be an appeal to the masses in Europe. The mass demonstrations throughout Europe on Sunday 5th July show that the masses across Europe are tired of austerity budgets and attacks by the capitalists. Any Greek capitalist entity that threatens to dismiss workers or not to pay them should be taken over. Any imperialist entity in Greece that threatens workers with layoffs or non-payment should be taken over by the workers. Thus any attempt by the capitalists to suppress the masses will be met with the rise of workers’ power. The setting up of committees of action in every country that faces austerity and where the capitalists try to isolate the Greek masses, should be the next step.
These committees of action should be set up irrespective of union or political party affiliation. This is the centre of a workers’ united front in defence of the Greek masses and against imperialism. At the same time the left forces should unite on this programme for working class power in Greece and across Europe, extending to North Africa and the Middle East.
The imperialists will attempt to use their armed forces in the Greek state and elsewhere across Europe to suppress the masses. Thus as part of the workers’ committees of action there needs to be setting up of workers’ self defence committees. There should also be propaganda to win the base of the armed forces over to the side of the masses.
Syriza is a reformist organization where the majority of the leadership do not want workers’ power but want a negotiated settlement within the framework of capitalism. This is the faction that has led Syriza to break from its mandate it received in January. They have led the start of negotiations and have capitulated to 90% of the demands of imperialism. They called the referendum even though they already had a mandate to declare the debt odious and to reject it. They called the referendum, hoping that the masses may be intimidated into voting to accept further austerity. Then they could hind behind this when they totally caved in to imperialism’s demands. They were the ones who fired the Finance minister to replace him with a technocrat who will push the agenda of imperialism. They are the ones who, despite the increased mandate given by the masses, now want to twist the new mandate into further betrayal of the masses. There needs to be a unity of the left forces against the reformist wing of Syriza.
It is not a question of the Euro or the Drachma. It is question of placing workers’ power on the agenda in Greece and across Europe and beyond or facing defeat at the hands of imperialism.
We still call for the breaking of ties with the nationalist Independent Greeks and for a left govt with the KKE (Greek Communist Party), the EEK and Antarsya and other left forces. Based on the internationalist programme above, there should be the setting up of a new revolutionary working class party in Greek and hand in hand with it a uniting of the revolutionary left from around Europe and the globe at a conference in Greece, to set up a new revolutionary International. (see also our article on Greece http://www.workersinternational.org.za/DEAfalsifiesTrotsky22.5.2015.htm ). The left forces need to fight on their own banner, not under that of Syriza even though they should unite the left inside and outside Syriza. This is the path to working class power in Greece and beyond.
Declare the debt odious! We will not pay for your crisis of profits!