Greece

The leader of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, visited Vienna recently where he spoke at the Bruno Kreisky Forum, drawing much attention. However, instead of appearing as the fiery left leader that some expected he posed as a reasonable social democrat.

The arrest of the Golden Dawn (GD) leadership as well as its MPs has naturally caused great satisfaction among labour movement and Left activists. But we must be careful not to allow this to foster illusions in the democratic nature of the bourgeois state.

Greek capitalism continues to be the weak link of the Eurozone as it is still under the “intensive care” of the EU support mechanisms for the fourth consecutive year and is in recession for the sixth consecutive year. Overall GDP decline since the crisis began will reach 25% by the end of 2013 and unemployment will reach 30%. According to the Institute of Labour (INE) of the Greek General Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) it will take at least 20 years to return to the pre-crisis levels!

This morning a 34-year old anti-fascist rapper and metal workers union activist Pavlos Fyssas, was stabbed to death, by a member of the fascist organisation Golden Dawn, in a working class neighborhood near the port of Athens.  The incident comes after a series of violent attacks in recent days by members of Golden Dawn against political rivals, including communist activists. Below we publish an appeal published on this occasion by the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA.

Slavoj Zizek has built up a reputation as a respected “Marxist” academic and is seen as somewhat of a “rock star” on the left. However, his recent attempts to translate his theories into concrete policies for a possible future SYRIZA government in Greece reveal that there is nothing revolutionary in his thinking. He is in fact providing academic credibility to a modern reformist current and has become an apologist for the shift to the right on the part of the leadership of SYRIZA.

This article was published in the run up to the SYRIZA congress and poses the need for a genuine revolutionary programme to be adopted by the party. We publish it as we await a more detailed report of the congress. What we can say for now is that two comrades of the Communist Platform were elected to the Central Committee of the party.

During the recent SYRIZA congress the Press Office of New Democracy issues a press release, pointing the finger at the ideas defended by the Communist Platform. We publish here a short note from the Communist Platform and the text of the Press Release for the information of our readers.

We received today this statement from the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA, which explains that, while prior to the party congress rules had been established allowing alternative documents to be presented on condition they received the backing of a sufficient number of party members (the Communist Tendency managed to get the required signatures), now as the national congress of SYRIZA is unfolding the party leadership is manoeuvring to remove the Communist Platform document from the agenda!

The founding congress of SYRIZA is taking place July 10-14, where all the component parts that previously made up the alliance are to dissolve into one unified party. In the process, however, party leader Tsipras has moved to the right, endangering the significant gains made by the party in the recent period. We publish here an article explaining the emergence of the Communist Tendency within the party and its struggle for a Marxist programme and policy.

The crisis facing the Greek coalition government continues, thus strengthening in the minds of thousands of militant activists of the labour movement the secret hope that new elections are coming soon. Now all the mass organisations of the working class – political and trade union – must put all their resources into escalating the militant anti-government movement that has built up following the closure of ERT (the national public broadcaster).

As we write this article a 24-hour general strike is taking place in Greece against the Samaras government’s decision to shut down the state broadcasting company ERT and sack 2,700 jobs. In Athens workers are marching on the ERT headquarters.

"Avgi" (The Dawn) is the official daily paper of the party of the Greek Left, SYRIZA. Its Sunday edition has a very wide circulation (the fifth largest in Greece). Yesterday, April 28, 2013, it published a full page interview with the editor of Marxist.com, Alan Woods. We provide here a full translation of the interview.

The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, visited London last week. On the 14th March he spoke in the LSE on an event of the Hellenic Observatory titled “Greece’s way out of the crisis” week. On 15th March, He met with member of the Labour’s shadow cabinet and the TUC and concluded his visit to London with a public lecture at the Friends Meeting House. This event was organised by the Syriza branch of London and attracted over 500 people that packed the venue. Comrade Tsipras started his speech by giving a grim description of the current situation of the Greek economy and society.

The class struggle in Greece continues.  A general strike of public transport in Athens was aborted after five days when the government forced the workers to return to work, using reactionary legislation left over from the period of open reaction. One week later, the same fate awaited the seafarers. The government of Samaras is recovering its nerve, and passing on to the offensive. This year alone, a minimum of 25,000 jobs in the public sector are due to be destroyed as a result of the deal with the Troika. Yet there has not been any serious response from the Greek trade union leaders.

Events in Greece are once again in the headlines, after another day of militant strike action and the new 'deal' agreed by the EU today. This deal to reduce Greece's debt is completely inadequate to solve the problem and is an insult to the Greek working class, who have now endured years of brutal cuts whilst the EU dithers. The only real solution to Greece's problems is for the debt to be cancelled and for the expropriation of capitalism in Greece and Europe. This article, which was produced in the second issue of the In Defence of Marxism magazine - the theoretical journal of the International Marxist Tendency -  gives some theoretical analysis to the economic and political

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