Greek Referendum: NO to imperialist blackmail, NO to the Troika and the EU, NO to the payment of the foreign debt

We publish here a statement by the International Workers Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI) in support of the NO vote in the upcoming referendum in Greece to reject austerity policies-SC

The working people and youth of Greece are experiencing key moments in their struggle to come out of the constant imperialist blackmail, the blackmail by the Troika (IMF, European Union-EU and European Central Bank) which for years has been imposing packages of cuts in their wages, pensions, and privatisations and all forms of plunder of their riches. All this to pay a fraudulent and unpayable foreign debt, carried out by governments accomplices of the IMF and the international banks.

Given the new imperialist blackmail, the Syriza government has been forced to call a referendum in Greece on Sunday 5 July. The situation has reached such a point that on Tuesday the government of Syriza had to stop paying the foreign debt, an instalment of €1.6 billion. The Troika, the IMF, the bosses, the bankers and the Greek right, could not prevent the referendum and fear a triumph of the NO. All of them have set out to promote the YES to continue with the “memoranda” and cuts to the Greek people.

The workers, youth, popular sectors and the left have taken to the streets to repudiate, once again, the Troika and calling for a NO. We join in solidarity with that call. Say NO to the Troika, the IMF and their cuts, NO to the payment the foreign debt, NO to the blackmail of the EU, Merkel, Hollande and Co. A massive and resounding triumph of the NO will be a political defeat of the Troika and will strengthen the Greek working people to continue mobilising to stop this looting.

Around the world imperialism and the agents of the IMF and their lackey governments, conduct a scaremongering campaign against the supposed catastrophe it would mean for Greece to stop paying the debt. False. The real humanitarian catastrophe is what they have created imposing the so-called “bailouts” piling up more and more debt, then imposing conditions of starvation and plundering of the Greek people. Unemployment has reached 27 percent and the lowering of wages, pensions and social spending in many cases exceed 40 percent. The only solution to this humanitarian crisis is to break with the Troika and stop paying the debt. These billions of euros must be used for increases in wages and pensions and for better health and education.

Regrettably, the government headed by Alexis Tsipras and his party Syriza, which claims to be of the left, since taking office in January instead of fulfilling its mandate to end the memoranda, followed a policy of negotiating with the Troika, yielding to their pressure with further cuts. The results are plain to see. The Troika was emboldened and continued blackmailing and demanding more cuts to wages and pensions. Only under pressure of the people and even of sectors of Syriza’s left wing, Prime Minister Tsipras was forced to call the referendum. But there is a danger that once again the government of Syriza will give in to pressure. An example of this is the current request by Tsipras and his minister Varoufakis, to negotiate a “new bailout plan” to cover the payments of debt maturities over the next two years. In other words, Syriza itself is requesting a negotiation for new plans of further foreign debt. This should be rejected by the Greek people and youth. The path of half measures has already shown to be useless for the workers. The workers and youth must demand from the government of Syriza to go all the way with NO in the referendum and return to the popular mandate of the electoral victory of 25 January and not give in to blackmail by the Troika. No deal with speculators and those who have sunk the Greek workers in misery.

Important sectors of Syriza’s left, grouped in Left Platform, have spoken out against any new covenant with the Troika and for the suspension of all debt repayments and for the nationalisation of banks. This is very positive. We call these sectors to demand from the government and Syriza not to give in to the Troika. Alongside them, other sectors, trade unions, and student organisations and of the left, including Antarsya and OKDE which are not members of Syriza, have raised similar banners and call for support to NO and to mobilisation. It will be essential, given the policy of half measures headed by Alexis Tsipras, to achieve unity, a front of all these sectors, for the triumph of NO and then to give continuity to the workers’ and popular mobilisation for the break with the Troika, the EU, the Eurozone and the payments of the foreign debt; money for salaries, pensions, work, health and education; for the nationalisation of the banks to prevent capital flight and avoid savers to lose their funds, for the cancellation of privatisation and workers’ and popular emergency plan.

From the IWU-FI we join the campaign and mobilisation for the NO in the referendum of 5 July. We call on the workers and youth of the world to show solidarity with the Greek people. In particular we call on workers throughout Europe. Given the imperialist bloc of the Troika with European governments we must advance in a block of the workers and peoples. There is a huge responsibility of the trade unions and the left, in Europe in particular, not to leave the Greek workers alone in this so unequal clash. The workers across Europe are risking their future in Greece. We call on the trade unions and the left to promote actions of solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people. A victory for the workers and youth of Greece will be a triumph for all those fighting the adjustment plans and cuts of imperialism and the multinationals and their accomplice governments.

International Workers Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)

1 July 2015