Statement by the IWU-FI
For a unitary block of the left and the workers to defeat the new memorandum
On August 20 Alexis Tsipras resigned as Prime Minister of Greece, to force a call to new elections in mid-September. It is a manoeuvre that seeks to overcome the political crisis caused within Syriza by their capitulation to the Troika (IMF, European Union— UE— and the European Central Bank—ECB).
On July 5 the Greek people had said NO to a new memorandum with the troika in the referendum called by Tsipras. A few days after that vote the same Tsipras and his government ignored that outcome. They said YES to the Troika and agreed to a new memorandum which means a worse adjustment than the previous ones. A betrayal in record time.
The deal triggered a serious crisis in Syriza. There was a majority vote of the Central Committee against the agreement, and this led to about 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) of Syriza’s left wing rejecting it in parliament. This forced Tsipras to negotiate with the MPs of the conservative bosses parties like New Democracy and others to achieve a parliamentary majority. On July 15 the Confederation of Public Employees and Teachers (ADEDY) called for a general strike and a march with support from sectors of the left who reject the pact and the government policy. The start of the European summer and the initial surprise of the masses prevented, incidentally, the protest from becoming massive. But the end of summer and the first effects of the adjustment will make the protests grow after September. Therefore, Tsipras comes forward and makes this electoral manoeuvre seeking to unify Syriza and his government. He aims to have parliamentary majority, getting rid of the left wing of his party, and reassert himself before the workers’ and people’s protests grow.
The new memorandum is a brutal adjustment against the people
The new agreement by Tsipras, called the “third bailout”, is an adjustment worse than the previous ones against the working people. With the myth that “there was no other way out” and that it will be “an adjustment socially balanced”, Tsipras and his government have agreed to an adjustment with a new reduction of pensions (retirement), liberalisation of labour laws and further privatisations so brazen that the memorandum directly states that 14 airports related to tourism will be purchased by the German company Fraport.
Never before has been put in evidence the complete failure of the political projects of the centre-left, which assures that agreeing with bourgeois sectors and negotiating with the IMF and imperialism there will be a solution to the social crisis caused by the capitalist system and its adjustments. They repeat the failure already existing in Latin America with bosses’ governments, of class conciliation, as in Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, with “left” discourses which end up agreeing with the multinationals, big business and ruling against the people. The Syriza government repeats this path, in an accelerated way, agreeing with all Greek bosses’ parties and the Troika. After six months it resigns to try to stay in power.
Such is the covenant and the manoeuvre of his resignation, that most of the spokespersons of imperialism and banking support the play of the new elections for Tsipras to revalidate his titles. Given the growing discredit of the old parties and Greek bosses’ leaders, the Troika bets for Tsipras and Syriza to continue the adjustment and the looting in Greece. The chairman of Eurogroup, Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, for example, that he hopes “the elections lead to an even greater support for the bailout in the Greek Parliament”. Thomas Wieser, the German who leads the directors of the European treasuries noted: “it was an expected stage and for many it was a desired stage for a clearer structure in the Greek government” (Clarin, Argentina, 21 August). More clear impossible.
For the break with the EU, the Troika and the non-payment. NO to the memorandum. For a block of struggle of all the left and the workers.
A new moment opens in Greece for the workers, the youth and the left. Tsipras approved the memorandum in agreement with the right. It is likely that Syriza will even win the elections because of the existing confusion and the blackmail that “it is worse if the governments of the right get back”. The new memorandum agreed by Tsipras and the Troika needs to be beaten with the mobilisation of the workers, the youth and the people. To open that path it is needed to prepare a new political alternative to convene mobilisation. Unity is needed, a block of all the left and the unions which have said NO to the memorandum and adjustment.
The left of Syriza announced the break with its party and the formation of Popular Unity, composed of 24 former Syriza MPs and defined as a front to regroup the left “against the new memorandum, against austerity and against the guardianship of the country”. Among the proposals are the rejection of privatisation and nationalisation under control of strategic sectors of the economy, starting with the banking sector, as well as the exit from the Euro zone and NATO (imperialist military alliance) and the rupture of military pacts with Israel. Its call is for the elections but it also says it is “to mobilise all social forces that want to fight against austerity and memoranda”. This break is a progressive step. Beyond the political differences we may have with these currents or other currents claiming to be revolutionary socialist may have with them, it is necessary to call for this proclaimed unity to materialize.
What is urgently needed is a block or united front of the left, for the elections and for mobilisation. A unitary block that takes advantage of the elections to present a united position to regroup the left and the militant sectors of the trade union and popular movement to prepare for mobilisation. A block or front that regroups Popular Unity with left groups outside of Syriza, as Antarsya, OKDE and the trade union and popular sectors which were for the NO and reject this betrayal. To launch a national mobilisation plan and impose an emergency workers’ and people’s plan to break with this agreement, to suspend all debt payments, break with the EU and the Euro, nationalise the banks under workers’ control, among other measures, calling for international solidarity for these banners of rupture. In the struggle for a new government, a government of the workers and the people. The workers may open a new path in Greece, a path of sovereignty against imperialism and colonialism.
International Secretariat of the IWU-FI (International Workers Unity–Fourth International)
24 August, 2015
Related article: Greece gets a lifejacket made of lead