Greece

More than 500 activists responded to the call of the Communist Tendency and signed the petition in favour of the cancellation of the Memoranda, the immediate withdrawal of the new Memorandum and the immediate implementation of election commitments. Amongst them are activists from the entire spectrum of the left wing of Syriza.

SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks (ANEL) have just completed three months in government in Greece. The economic, social, and political situation in Greece is characterised by the worsening of the profound crisis of Greek capitalism, and by the increasing intransigence of the foreign creditors. Its fate is being sealed by the shattering of the delusions of the new administration with regard to the possibility of breaking with austerity and memoranda within the framework of bourgeois politics.

A stand-off is taking place between the Greek government and the country’s creditors that could end up with Greece defaulting on its debt, leaving the euro and even the EU itself. This would have very serious consequences both for the Greek people and the European and world economy. What is this leading to?

Last week several thousand gold miners marched in Athens against the government (the media claimed there were 6,000 protesters, although this is visibly an exaggeration). They were demonstrating against the government’s plans to close the Skouries gold mine in Chalkidiki, owned by the Canadian mining company El Dorado and also partly by Greek investors.

Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister, presents himself as a Marxist –albeit an “erratic” one – and is even described as such in the bourgeois media. We would argue that he is a classic reformist who believes that a solution to the present crisis can be found within the capitalist system itself, something which Marx never stood for.

Last Saturday, 14th March, the held a meeting on SYRIZA’s recent deal with the Eurogroup and what the future looks like for the party.  The event was held at the Gini building in the historic Polytechnic area and drew several dozen youth, SYRIZA activists, and workers. The discussion was held to discuss the political backpedaling of the SYRIZA government in relation to the agreement of the Eurogroup and how communists can fight against this conciliation within SYRIZA by arguing for a bold, socialist programme.

Despite all the concessions imposed on Greece by the troika, the February 20th agreement with the Eurogroup has produced very little of any substance and is already starting to unravel. The deep crisis of Greek capitalism, combined with the stubbornness of the troika in humiliating the Greek government, leaves almost no room for manoeuvre.

“You must either conquer and rule or serve and lose, suffer or triumph, be the anvil or the hammer” (Goethe)

In October 1944, the last German soldiers left Greece and on the 12th ELAS, the Greek People's Liberation Army, moved into Athens. The atmosphere among the masses was electric, especially in the working class neighbourhoods. Not only had they expelled the hated Nazi occupation, but they could feel that power was there for the taking.

Tsipras and his finance minister Varoufakis have toured the European capitals in an attempt to muster support for their debt renegotiation policies but have been met with open hostility. At the same time the workers in Greece are rallying around what they regard as their government in a movement that could escalate in the coming weeks. In this talk Fred Weston of the International Marxist Tendency outlines the fundamental contradictions which are accumulating in Greece and explains why the only way out for the Greek masses is Socialism.

Last weekend the Central Committee of Syriza met. Opposition to the party’s Majority line on the agreement with the Eurogroup was strong. A critical amendment by the Left Platform, the main opposition group led by the Minister Panayotis Lafazanis, won 68 votes, 41% of the total.

Stathis Kouvelakis, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA and one of the leading exponents of the Left Platform, has written an account of the turbulent meeting of the party’s parliamentary group, which reveals doubt and opposition to the agreement reached with the Eurogroup.

The letter from the Greek government to the Eurogroup detailing the measures it is committing itself to implement as part of the agreement reached on Friday, reveals the extent of the retreat from Syriza’s programme. This has caused an uproar of opposition within the party.

On Friday, February 20th Greece signed a joint statement with the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers which amounts to an abandonment of the programme on which Syriza won the election on January 25, as well as government policy statements made since then. What are the details of the deal?

Friday’s Eurogroup agreement amounts to the government’s capitulation to the Troika’s blackmail. The agreement provides for a four-month extension, not simply of the “loan agreement”, but, as is expressly stated, of the “programme”, that’s to say of the Memorandum itself.