In Defence of Syriza and Tsipras.
German right-wing Tabloid Bild is not happy with the result of the negotiations with Greece.
Tsipras laughs and we pay….
The BBC reports,
Eurozone finance chiefs are gathering in Brussels for a meeting that could decide whether new Greek proposals are sufficient to secure a third bailout and prevent a possible eurozone exit.
Greece’s parliament overnight backed PM Alexis Tsipras’s new package.
But he faced anger from some in his own party for proposing measures that were rejected in a referendum last Sunday.
Greece’s creditors gave an initially positive reaction to the plans but a bailout agreement is far from certain.
The creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – have sent a first joint assessment to the eurozone ministers.
“Under certain conditions, they jointly see the proposals as a basis for negotiation,” an EU official told Reuters.
Greece is asking creditors for €53.5bn ($59.47bn; £38.4bn) to cover Greece’s debts until 2018, but the amount of the new bailout could reach €74bn, as Greece is seeking a restructuring of its massive debt, which it says is unsustainable.
Times of Change adds,
In his speech (to the Greek parliament), Alexis Tsipras defended the painful bailout proposals his leftwing government presented to parliament on Friday, saying they were difficult measures but would help keep Greece in the euro zone.
Arguing that the mix of tax hikes and spending cuts was better on many points than the package rejected by voters in a referendum on Sunday, Tsipras insisted that he had won important concessions on restructuring Greece’s enormous public debt.
“For the first time, we have on the table a substantial discussion for a debt restructuring,” he said in a debate before parliament votes on endorsing the proposals.
He said Greece would meet 6.8 billion euros of payments on maturing bonds held by the European Central Bank due in July and August and said that the capital controls imposed on banks would not force the government to take new fiscal measures.
The French Communist Daily, l’Humanité has a long, rigorous and sympathetic report on this speech and the difficulties facing Greece: here.
Anti-Europe sections of the British left will be interested in the following:
Tsipras said the vote gave him a “strong mandate to complete the negotiations to reach an economically viable and socially fair agreement”.
“The priority now is to have a positive outcome to the negotiations. Everything else in its own time,” he said.
In an ominous sign for the stability of the government, however, 10 deputies on the ruling benches either abstained or voted against the measures and another seven were absent, leaving Tsipras short of the 151 seats needed for a majority of his own.
Prominent leftwingers in the governing Syriza party signalled before the vote that they could not support the mix of tax hikes and spending cuts proposed by Tsipras, following the rejection of similar austerity measures by voters in Sunday’s referendum.
Energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, deputy labour minister Dimitris Stratoulis as well as the speaker of parliament, Zoe Constantopoulou, all abstained.
“The government is being totally blackmailed to acquiesce to something which does not reflect what it represents,” Constantopoulou said.
Two SYRIZA lawmakers and three members of the political committee, who are part of the Left Platform, a subgroup within SYRIZA, produced a document on Friday that asks for the renegotiation of a deal with the institutions. If a deal without austerity and with sufficient liquidity cannot be reached Greece should exit the Eurozone, the document argues.
Political Committee members Stathis Leoutsakos, Antonis Davanelos, Sophie Papadogiannis and lawmakers Costas Lapavitas and Thanasis Petrakos further urged the government to sign a transition deal toward a new currency that will allow Greece to do three things.
- A radical reform of the banking system
- The complete halt of austerity policies
- The exit from the Euro and the subsequent a write down of most of Greece’s debt.
“An exit from the eurozone under the current circumstances is a difficult but realistic process that will allow the country to follow a different path, away from that of the unacceptable programs that will emulate the Juncker proposal,” the document reads.
An exit from the Eurozone would generate further benefits according to the proposal. Namely, the restoration of financial liquidity, a sustainable growth program based on private investment, the rebuilding of the internal economy to reduce dependence on imports, an increase in exports, independence from the European Central Bank, its policies and restrictions and finally the utilization of unused resources to create rapid growth so as to protect against the first difficult months following the Grexit.
We have little doubt the SWP which has close links to an obscure group in Greece opposed to Syriza, not to mention the Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star), which backs the Greek Communist Party (KKE), an organisation that envisages a fortress Greece against the EU, and indeed the Brent Soviet, will seize on the Greek government’s decision in order to attack Syriza.
Or as their mates on the WSWS already shout: Syriza’s betrayal of the Greek working class!
The will fight to the last Greek pensioner to defend their factions.
Their answer to Greece’s problems: austerity: oppose it!
Now why didn’t Tsipras think of that one!
The Weekly Worker said they should not have taken power in the first place: problem solved!
In the meantime we say: back our Greek comrades in their hour of need.
This is well-worth reading: (from Marxism List):
Commentary from Theo, a Greek FB friend This one is for my non-Greek Marxist facebook friends who have been posting about my country for the last year or so . . . I, for example, could have told you what to expect from Synaspismos because I lived in Greece for many years. I could also have told you about ???, ???, the ???, other Marxist groups, Greek anarchists, etc. -- and in great detail. This is not an "I told you so" because I did not say much and prefer boat carpentry to political infighting. I'm no expert. Why should you care what I think? I don't expect you to now. I might have enjoyed deriding the ?????? leadership for being parlor revolutionaries, political opportunists and milquetoast reformists, well, I didn't because (1) they actually got themselves elected (something nobody can take away from them) and, accordingly, (2) deserved a chance to do their jobs. A few months ago I was amused to read some comment threads by non-Greek leftists which were, more or less, anti-KKE pile-ons. People who were not Greek, did not speak Greek, and had never lived in Greece magically morphed into expert critics of that country's working class politics. I should have liked to ask these just-add-water theoreticians to accompany me to Athenian working class neighborhoods or to parts of rural Greece where they could explain to the locals their local politics. I'd happily volunteer my services as interpreter. (Incidentally, I'm not KKE, just another garden-variety Marxist with an independent streak.) But ?????? pretty much came to power because ????? went up up in smoke. That's what fucking happened. There simply wasn't anybody left with mainstream appeal and good party organization. At least they gave it a whirl. The Greeks elected them to wheel and deal for Greece, not to leave the EU or lead a global insurgency against the neoliberal order. And that's what they've been trying to do (however little you or I may think of their maneuvering). Did Tsipras call the referendum so as to duck for cover behind the Greek people? Maybe so. Does that suck? Sure. But, honestly, if you were Greek and on the hard left, that's about what you'd expect. And if you are not Greek and not on the hard left, but still familiar with even the most of rudimentary Marxist analyses, you surely understand that ??????'s appeals to reason in its negotiations would not be well received by representatives of an economic system that is irrational at its core. What's interesting to me is how the EU honchos can't seem to tolerate even a mildly left wing government like ?????? being successful. Whether or not you agree or disagree with what, admittedly, is my backyard and layman's opinion is unimportant.