Following Syriza's victory in the Greek elections far wider forces than socialists are supporting the new Greek government's calls for renegotiation of Greece's debt - for example the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Before the election letters to the Financial Times and Guardian by leading economists supported this. The following article analysing the the situation after Syriza's victory appeared on Socialist Economic Bulletin by socialist economists Michael Burke and John Ross.
By Nicky Dempsey
Greek anti-fascists have called for a major mobilisation in Athens and internationally on January 19th against the growing threat of the far right in Europe. The Greek protest will centre on Syntagma Square in central Athens. There will also be a large number of demonstrations in other European cities in solidarity with the Greek mobilisation.
In London a protest will take place outside the Greek embassy, initiated by Unite Against Fascism.
The outcome of the Greek election means that the population will face further attacks on its living standards and that the economic crisis will be prolonged. SYRIZA, the only party that might have been able to form an anti-austerity government, came second with less than 3 per cent of the vote behind the victorious New Democracy. Given the Greek system of 50 top-up seats for the leading party and with the support of both the traditional social democrats of PASOK and from the Democratic Left (a rightist split from SYRIZA) the new government will have a large majority in Parliament. Whether it will be able to form a stable government is another matter.
The Greek general election of June 17 will be closely watched by all the main political forces and classes in Europe. It marks the next phase in the struggle against the offensive to cut wages, public services and the incomes of the poor in order to restore profits.
Workers and the oppressed throughout the whole of Europe and beyond have a direct interest in a victory for those parties that oppose the current offensive.
The outcome of the Greek elections represents a decisive popular break with the politics of austerity. Persistent mass mobilisations over several years since the crisis began have resulted in a crushing defeat for the traditionally dominant parties in Greek politics. Parties who in different ways claimed to be opposed to the terms of the Greek bailout won a majority. After a prolonged period in Europe in which ruling parties carrying out cuts have been dumped at the first electoral opportunity, this is the first time since the crisis began that any country has registered a majority vote for parties against austerity.
The Coalition of Resistance and the People’s Charter are appealing for support for a campaign against the extreme 'austerity' measures being imposed on the Greek population.
The statement, set out below, should be given widespread backing and can be signed here.
By Tom O’Donnell
The outcome of the latest EU summit is an unqualified success for the German bourgeoisie against both its external competition in the United States and its internal rivals, especially President Sarkozy. However, it is unlikely that this will bring an end to the European crisis and further decisive measures will be required.
By Brian Jones
The working class of Greece obviously still faces a huge uphill fight against the savage austerity measures being imposed on them to pay for the crisis created by the Greek capitalist class. The new ‘bailout’ package for Greece agreed by the Eurozone countries only represents the mildest of ameliorations of the terms of the previous such package – 21 per cent effective reduction in the size of debt on Greece’s bonds, reduction of interest rate for bailout funds from 5.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, and extension of the period of repayment. But nevertheless it contains a crucial lesson – struggle pays.
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Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet