Greek elections: support the popular struggle against austerity

Alexis Tsipras, leader of SyrizaThe following is a statement by the Greece Solidarity Campaign issued this afternoon

Greece stands on the brink of momentous change. The forthcoming general election presents huge, transformative opportunities to the people of Greece – and to Europe more widely. The anti-austerity party SYRIZA – and the movement and people as a whole – has a strong chance of victory.

If this happens, a new government will be formed which will place the defence of the people at the heart of its programme.

This will be a government that will no longer let Greece be subjected to the rule of the Troika. It will be a Government that is transparent and democratic, a clear break from the corrupt elite who created the debt crisis for their own profit and then on behalf of the Troika forced on the Greek people the most extreme policies of austerity in Europe.

After many years of struggle the people may well place their confidence in the radical left and vote for a party that promises hope and not defeat. If they do, instead of austerity the new government will feed and clothe and house and create jobs. It will reject the debt. If they take this step, the Greek people will have started to turn the tide against austerity not just in Greece but throughout Europe as a whole. Such a historic vote would advance the common interests of all the working peoples of Europe.

A new Greek government on this basis will face enormous difficulties. The financial and political elites across Europe would suffer a major blow and would immediately plot to take their revenge. They would try to force the new government by economic and political blackmail to return to the path of austerity. We have no doubt that the new government will face these difficulties with courage and determination. We have confidence that it will withstand this pressure.

But Greece must not be left to struggle alone. It needs solidarity to defend its democracy and its people. We pledge our support for the people of Greece in their struggle. Their struggle is our struggle and we are indivisible. Were this government to be brought down it would be a defeat for us all. We call on all progressive forces across Europe to mobilise to defend democracy in Greece.

Defend the democratic choice of the people of Greece!  No to austerity! No to neo-liberal Europe!

  1. I hope Syrizia win! But need to communicate with rapacious capital – We only want working peoples share of the surplus labour that you have legally nicked back – it really is a modest demand. It would help all EC countries if instead of some going for a piddling 0.1% Financial Tranaction Tax if they went for a 5% tax – would bring in £1.75tr in the EC to address austerity. Syrizia also needs to collect taxes and particularly from the rich and make the banks and big business pay. The game really is up for cheap labour Neo-Liberalism – it has painted itself into a corner restricting the ability of working people to purchase commodities – it has been caught with its hand in the till. Time for working people internationally to start winning. Vote Syrizia! Happy New Year!

  2. I think we do need to offer Syriza critical support in these elections, but we need to be mindful that there are some weird and wonderful individuals, tendencies and factions forming part of their groupings, including some (I’m thinking of the Left Platform/Αριστερή Πλάτφορμα who are vigorously and worryingly anti-European in character.

    In February 2014, SYRIZA decided to withdraw the candidacy of the journalist T. Karipidis for Regional Prefect in Western Macedonia in the upcoming local elections.. Why? The reason was the views of the candidate – he espoused a conspiracy theory that the Prime Minister was destroying Greece according to “a plan of the Jews”. It doesn’t really give you confidence in their vetting of candidates. Syriza also sacked its representative from the Parliament’s Human Rights Committee after he said the Greek island of Imia “belongs to Turkey and that Greece should cede its territorial rights within the international 12-mile limit”. Hardly radical stuff, and the view of most of the moderate left, but Syriza obviously leans to the right to try and generate support. Likewise, Syriza expelled Roma candidate Sabiha Suleiman from the party and the list of MEPs after pressure from party activists who “wanted someone more suitable” (i.e. non-Roma).

  3. Have this lot Syrizia ever done any governing before at local or National level? Probably not; thety don’t even contain any disillusioned politicians from any of the other traditional Parties. So, no Experience and no real idea of how to go about governing at all. And Left wing Parties usually fall apart after a year or two anyway, especially when under seige from conventional forces of the Right in the rest of Europe. The Greeks must really do something about changing their silly Constitution.

  4. There are ex-Pasok/KKE members in Syriza, and they have won governorships and mayoralties. But looking for a managerial tendency in the party ? Nope. And don’t look to Pasok for any similarities with Labour. A more corrupt, less principled, more ideologically malleable organisation you would struggle to find. I hope they disappear forever.

  5. If they do win then the first question will be whether they will bulk at the tasks they have set themselves and ultimately support the system (as KKE believe) or whether they will pose a direct threat to the EU policies of austerity and wealth transfers. If it is the latter then the second question will be how the EU and bankers react. If it is by economic destabilisation and a plan to impose unelected EU technocrats (as happened in Italy), or worse a ‘Colonels’ option, then the third question will be how the Greek working class combat this.

    And it seems to me that key to that possible end game will not be the loose federation of SYRIZA, but the well-organised large and powerful workers union federation of PAME, which is of course loyal to the KKE. So far the KKE has been both correct on their principled opposition to the EU and NATO, but tactically wrong in their isolation and rejection of a united front with SYRIZA – but without a united working class front based in the workplaces then it is likely that even if they follow through on their promises to challenge the EU diktats, SYRIZA will lack the real power to back that up.