Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

All our support for Syriza!

with 3 comments

Greece is the most striking example of what happens when political matters are being dealt with by economic powers. The fact that non democratic entities such as the European Central Bank or the IMF sort out problems which were created by those same economic powers in the first place, is a serious step back regarding the concept of democracy as a whole, which used to guarantee that the citizens’ decision was the most sacred contract within European societies.

On the contrary this country, which suffered the worst financial scam, is being punished a second time instead of the actual culprits being punished: those politicians who hope to give back what they lost in speculations by directly dispossessing their citizens.

Greece today is crumbling as a result: it has become a place where misery, hunger, necessity, unemployment and social, work and environmental need and insecurity are added to the total inability to supremely decide on economic or social policies. The elections of 2015 represent a historic opportunity to start giving the economy back to the Greek people, which should always have been the case. Unfortunately, we are worried to see that conditions are being put on the free decision of the Greek citizens to give a unique chance of victory to parties that are questioning the antidemocratic tendency imposed by international economic institutions and by the European Commission.

We, the signatories, civil servants from different backgrounds, demand for the Greek people to be free to choose. We cannot accept the intimidation campaigns which are currently conditioning the votes through the media or international institutions.

We urge the European institutions to make sure these elections remain trouble-free, and to prevent any attempt to limit and/or condition the decision made by the Greek people. We think that Syriza’s victory can be the starting point of what will stop the trend which, in the name of financial speculation, is destroying economies, the environment and the well-being of the people. They will ensure that, beyond the 25 January, the sovereign decisions of the Greek people will be respected.

 

Alberto Garzón – Deputy of Izquierda Unida at the Congress of Deputies (Spain)
Gabriele Zimmer – Deputy of Die Linke at the European Parliament and President of the GUE/NGL (Germany)
Sergio Coronado – Deputy of Europe Écologie Les Verts at National Assembly (Francia)
Maria Dolors Camat – Deputy of ICV-EUiA at the Catalonian Parliament and president of ICV (Catalonia, Spain)

Frances O’Grady,Trade Union Council (TUC) : Why the Greek Elections are so important – for the Greeks and Europe as a whole

This Sunday, the Greek people go to the polls in what must be one of the most important elections not just for Greece but for Europe as a whole. What is at stake is the future of democratic control of the economy, and the European establishment’s love affair with austerity.

Nowhere in Europe has suffered so much from the after-effects of the global financial crisis. The austerity programme imposed on the Greek people by the troika of the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission has seen unemployment rocket to 25% (and more than 50% among young people), the minimum wage and pensions slashed, public services sold off and in some cases – eg Greece’s public service broadcaster – shut down. Many Greek people have been left destitute, homeless and fearing for their futures. Some have left the country or abandoned their hopes of starting a family.

Above all, these changes have undermined democratic control in the country known as the birthplace of democracy – something that has helped the neo-nazi thugs of Golden Dawn grow. Unelected forces from outside the country have dictated the terms on which the Greek government and economy can continue to function. Labour’s equivalent in Greece, PASOK, has all-but collapsed under the strain. Collective bargaining has been undermined, and the unions’ role reduced to fire-fighting, resisting closures, sell-offs and attacks on living standards.

For the rest of us in Europe, the elections on Sunday are important because they could see the rejection of austerity and renewed discussion of the sort of sustainable investment plans that the ETUC has advocated. The IMF has – astoundingly without showing any remorse – accepted that the levels of austerity they helped impose on Greece were based on flawed economic models. Every serious commentator I know acknowledges that, somehow, Greece’s debt needs to be reduced, and that continued austerity in Greece is not the answer. That means some form of rescheduling the debt, including debt forgiveness, must be arranged, and the infamous Memorandum under which Greek national sovereignty and economic sustainability was removed needs to be replaced.

The costs of the global economic crisis need to be shared more fairly, and of course, there are problems in Greece that exacerbated the crisis, and are not externally imposed. Public debt was too high before the crisis. But that wasn’t the fault of the people who are now paying for austerity: Greece needs to address the oligarchy that led it down the ruinous path it was already following before the global financial crisis hit, and whose members have so far not had to pay the price.

Although the Greek people have suffered most under austerity, if they reject it that will have repercussions in forthcoming elections across Europe – starting with Spain – because austerity is hitting everyone (arguably it already hit Germany in the last decade when pay growth stagnated and the sort of low paid jobs we are used to in the UK spread to Europe’s richest economy.) The UK’s working poor and middle classes have also suffered from the ideological craze for slashing the state back to the size it was in the 1930s, the spread of low-productivity and zero hours jobs, and stagnating wages.

Now every poll shows Syriza, the left party headed by Alexis Tsipras, who I met last year, in the lead. Some European politicians have, disgracefully, been threatening the Greek electorate with dire consequences, including expulsion from the Eurozone, if they dare to vote the wrong way! There are powerful forces mobilising against the interests of the Greek people. So if they choose an alternative path on Sunday, they will deserve and need our support and solidarity.

 Greece Solidarity Campaign.

See also:  Greece: the prospect of a Syriza victory (Shiraz Socialist).

Alexis Tsipras of Syriza is far from Greek orthodox: The Communist ‘Harry Potter’ who could implode the Eurozone (Independent).

Written by Andrew Coates

January 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Hi, great blog, there is some strong stuff on here. I have just followed you and look forward to discussing future issues.
    I have just started blogging about socialism and related themes so feel free to come and have a look at https://thesearchforsocialism.wordpress.com/ .
    Cheers

    samuraisocialist

    January 28, 2015 at 6:33 am

  2. I’ve put the blog on the links – where you’ll find lots of sites about the European left!

    A good start.

    Salutations socialists!

    Andrew Coates

    January 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  3. Thanks for the support!

    The Samurai Socialist

    January 29, 2015 at 10:30 am


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