Greece

Greece goes to the elections on Sunday, the outcome of which will be determined by several factors, an important one being the sense of betrayal and disappointment among many of the SYRIZA voters, but there is also a process of radicalisation taking place on the left.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras just announced he will step down. He has lost his parliamentary majority and Syriza is split, with left leader Lafazanis announcing the formation of a new party, Popular Unity. Speaking in a televised address last night, Tsipras stated that the Syriza government would tender its resignation and call an election. Tsipras said Greeks still have struggles ahead of them, but that Greece is “determined to honour” the latest so-called bailout package. What does this mean?

It was after midnight on July 15 when the Greek parliament finally approved an omnibus law containing all of the “prior actions” demanded by the institutions. The vote was met with strike action, demonstrations, a rebellion by 38 Syriza MPs and the opposition of the majority of the party’s Central Committee members. Tsipras survived but he had to rely on the votes of those parties which passed the previous two Memoranda which Syriza was elected to oppose.

The deal imposed on Greece in the early hours of July 13 after an all-night Euro Summit can only be described as a humiliating capitulation. Greece has basically given up sovereignty to the Troika in exchange for a new strings-attached bailout and some vague promises that debt restructuring (but not debt forgiveness) will be studied, at a later date, perhaps. This deal will not work. It will politically destroy Tsipras and Syriza and economically will plunge Greece even further into recession. It has also exposed deep rifts within the European Union.

The next few hours are, again, crucial in Greece. The victory of the OXI in the referendum is being quickly turned into its opposite. The government has sent a proposal to the Troika which in essence represents accepting what people rejected in the referendum on Sunday. This in exchange for a new, third, bailout it has requested from the European Stability Mechanism, which is thought to be worth 70bn euro. It remains to be seen if this will be enough for the Troika Minotaur. Opposition is also growing in the ranks of Syriza and beyond, among the Greek working masses aroused by their victory in the referendum, but the government has worked to secure the support of bourgeois opposition

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Greek voters have decisively rejected the terms of an international bailout. Sunday’s referendum was a slap in the face for the bankers and capitalists of the Eurozone. The final result in the referendum, published by the interior ministry, was 61.3% “No”, against 38.7% who voted “Yes”. Most predicted Yes to have a base in the rural areas but in the end that was shown to be false.

We received the following letter from a comrade who recently travelled to Greece.

The working class based victory for the "No", with more than 60% is a revolutionary event. The people have given a mandate for revolutionary resistance and against Memorandum agreements. It's time for the nationalization of banks, repudiation of the debt and the overthrow of Memoranda and barbaric capitalism which spawned them.

Last night, Friday 3 July, there was a massive pro “OXI” (no) demonstration in Athens ahead of the referendum on the austerity policies of the institutions, or Troika. The demonstration gathered in Syntagma Square, outside of the Hellenic Parliament.

An open letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper on Sunday 28th June appealing for debt relief for Greece. The letter is addressed to David Cameron, the head of the Tory government. It is signed by, among others: Frances O’Grady (general secretary, TUC); Len McCluskey (general secretary, Unite the Union);recently knighted Sir Paul Kenny (general secretary, GMB); Manuel Cortes (general secretary, TSSA); Paul Mackney (Chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign); Jeremy Corbyn MP; John McDonnell MP; and Caroline Lucas MP.