Greece

Once again, any illusions that the negotiations with its creditors could ever yield something positive for Greece have now crumbled in the light of the recent Eurogroup meeting. The unanimous ultimatum of Greece’s so-called capitalist Eurozone “partners” to the new government and the overwhelming majority of the Greek people that support the government was once more a provocation.

After the breakdown of negotiations between the Greek government and the EU last week, the produced this article, which provides background information to the present impasse.

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. The workers in Greece are rallying around what they regard as their government in a movement that could escalate in the coming weeks.

Last Sunday's government programme announcement by the Prime Minister did not contain the sort of backtracking that the ruling class and the Troika are seeking. The government and SYRIZA should maintain a dignified and firm position. A confrontation with the Troika and capital is inevitable given that they have no desire to negotiate with the  government. Rather they seek to humiliate it, have no qualms about undermining its commitments to the Greek people and even about expelling Greece from the Euro. Therefore, the important measures contained in the government's programme cannot be implemented unless these are supported by a socialist programme.

The election victory of Syriza in Greece marked a fundamental shift not only in the situation in Greece, but throughout Europe. A week after the elections we interviewed Ilias Kirousis, a member of the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA as well as the leadership of SYRIZA’s youth wing. Here Ilias gives us his analysis of the elections and the perspectives for the SYRIZA government.

The retreats of the Syriza leadership have not forestalled German ultimatums - The solution lies in radical policies; not in diplomacy. Denounce the debt - nationalise the banks - expropriate the oligarchy!

On the December 3, 1944, British snipers, the Athens police, and fascist paramilitaries opened fire on a demonstration of communist sympathisers in Athens’ Syntagma Square, leaving 28 dead. They were protesting against the provocations of the Greek bourgeois parties and the British imperialists, who were trying to derail and crush the mass revolutionary movement that had defeated the Nazis. Thus began the Battle of Athens.

On January 25th Greece will vote in a general election. Syriza is likely to be the party voted to power. This poses a dilemma for the European capitalists as one part of their machine, bourgeois democracy, risks colliding with another, their programme of austerity, which has been visited upon the Greek people for the past five years. This is seen as a serious threat to the plans of the rulers of Europe to solve the economic crisis by an all-out attack on the living standards of the working class.

The two-day national meeting held by the “EPANASTASI” (REVOLUTION) newspaper and the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA over the weekend of 20-21 December, was a big success. The meeting was attended by more than seventy activists, packed into the very welcoming hall of the "Art Garage". The rich content of the discussions and the participation of many young people were particularly encouraging.

The results of the European elections in Greece confirmed the general trends expressed in the first round of the Municipal and Regional elections (See Greek local elections confirm sharp class polarisation to the left and the right). Those parties that are either part of or are associated with the government, New Democracy (ND), PASOK and DIMAR suffered a clear defeat, as opposition to government policy among wide sections of the electorate was evident. But why did SYRIZA not benefit from this?

Today another interview with Alan was published in a Greek paper. The paper is called "Εfimerida ton Syntakton” (Journal of Editors) (www.efsyn.gr) and is produced by a cooperative of journalists and press workers who used to work for the centre-left "Eleftherotypia" newspaper, which closed in 2011. The paper, which is run  under self-management and is self-funding, sells 25.000-30.000 copies daily.

The first round in the local elections, held last Sunday, May 18, reveal a significant growth of parties to the left of SYRIZA, in particular the KKE, but also a shift to the right within the right-wing camp, with Golden Dawn picking up votes. What we have is a sharpening of the class polarisation within Greek society, a harbinger of renewed class conflict in the coming period. Here we provide an analysis by a Greek Marxist of the results of the first round.