IST STATEMENT ON GREECE: NO TO THE AGREEMENT!
Monday 29th June 2015
1. The victory of Syriza in the Greek general election of 25 January was a victory for the left and the workers’ movement – not only in Greece but throughout Europe. It marked a breakthrough in the struggle against the austerity measures with which the Western ruling classes have reacted to the global economic crisis (once the immediate scare caused by the 2008 financial crash passed).
2. For the following five months the government of Alexis Tsipras struggled to seek a compromise with the dominant powers in the European Union that would bring relief to the Greek people from austerity and reduce the burden of debt under which they labour. Tsipras and his allies pursued this objective even after they were forced to climb down on 20 February, when it was clear that the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, and behind them the German government were determined to impose a humiliating defeat on Syriza.
3. Last week the Syriza-led government finally had to accept they were pursuing an impossible goal. The Eurogroup and its allies in the so-called ‘Institutions’ (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) continued demand yet more cruel austerity – pension cuts, VAT increases, and labour market ‘reforms’ – and refused to offer debt relief.
4. Tsipras responded on Friday 26 June by calling a referendum on Sunday 5 July on these proposals. This is a victory for the left and the workers’ movement in Greece, who have pressing the government to reject the EU diktat. It has been welcomed with delight by the left elsewhere in Europe.
5. The Eurogroup and its allies have reacted with fury. The whole logic of European construction has been to centralize power in institutions unaccountable to popular vote. Successive treaties have been defeated in national referendums. Now the Greek people have won their chance to pronounce their judgement on austerity. The ECB is trying to scare them into submission by cutting off the supply of funds to the Greek banks. Never has the undemocratic character of the EU been more evident.
6. We stand alongside our comrades in the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK) and their allies in the Anticapitalist Front (Antarsya) in calling for a No vote in the referendum. The rejection of the Eurogroup proposals will strengthen the struggle against austerity in Greece and the rest of Europe.
7. We call on anticapitalists and socialists everywhere to show their solidarity with the struggle of the Greek masses in words and, where possible, in deeds. Their struggle is our struggle as well.
The Coordination of the International Socialist Tendency
29 June 2015