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Greece: Astonishing and resounding 'Oxi' (No) to EU austerity

Democracy Now! on July 6, 2015, reports on the Greek rejection of austerity.

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Colin Fox

July 5, 2015 -- Colin Fox, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- So much for it being a close vote! The Greek people today delivered a resounding blow to the European Central Bank's plan to implement further hardship and austerity on the Greek people.

More than 61.3% of Greeks voted "No" (38.69% voted Yes). This represents a huge success for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and an extraordinary vindication of the SYRIZA government and its record since January 25th. Despite falling living standards and increased hardship, epitomised by the enforced "bank holiday" this week which restricted customers to €60 per day, the Greek people have again resoundingly backed their radical left-wing government.

What is perhaps most remarkable about today's result is that this vote of confidence comes despite the government's inability to deliver on its seven manifesto promises [it's Thessaloniki Declaration].

Nevertheless their trenchant refusal to inflict further austerity on Greek voters has been very important and popular. They have confronted the Troika, looked them in the eye and told them straight that they will not implement their austerity program. All previous Greek governments have humiliated the Greek people with their acquiescence to the money men and their cuts. SYRIZA are profoundly different in this regard. That is why they won today. And one key reason why the No side won so handsomely is that so many young Greeks have unusually turned out to vote.

And despite the combined efforts of the international money men and the threats of all EU governments in attempting to undermine the Greek economy SYRIZA have strengthened their political mandate. Alexis Tsipras promised to resign if the Yes side won. SYRIZA made it clear they would not inflict further humiliation on the Greek people. They would have stood down and asked the Greek president to pull together a new administration.

Today's referendum result is therefore an astonishing victory for SYRIZA and for the Greek people as the Troika will be forced to make considerable concessions. It is a defeat for the right in Greece, the Troika and for neoliberal politicians worldwide including Britain.

Of course Greece is not out of the financial woods yet, not by a long way. SYRIZA will go back to Brussels in the morning and renegotiate the deal they rejected last week. It was significant this week that the IMF concluded that Greek debts will simply have to be written off and that Greece will have to be given the further bank bail-outs Syriza has demanded.

I expect the deal rejected by SYRIZA last weekend will now be renegotiated to allow both sides to step back from the prospect of a "Grexit" they both wish to avoid. And I expect the ECB to restore further "emergency funding" to allow Greek banks to reopen on Tuesday. Above all however this defeat for neoliberalism strengthens SYRIZA's hand and will be cheered by working-class people worldwide for that.

[Colin Fox is co-spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party.]

 

Greece vote marks historic blow against austerity

syntagma.jpg

July 5, 2015 -- Irish Republican News, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The results of today’s referendum in Greece, rejecting a proposed austerity deal by a margin of more than three-to-two, marks a potential turning point in the history of the European Union.

With 91% of the vote counted, the people of Greece have rejected harsh financial measures imposed by the EU and the European Central Bank for the recovery of international debts, by 61% to 39%.

The result could also open the way for the Dublin government to renegotiate the debt burden imposed on the state following the 2008 financial collapse, estimated at about a 100 billion euros.

It is a clear triumph for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who had all but gambled the future of his government on the vote.

His high-stakes negotiations with lenders from the eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund resulted in him calling the referendum, giving the Greek people a chance to directly challenge austerity for the first time. He had campaigned for a "No" vote on the basis that it would strengthen his hand to negotiate a better deal with creditors.

His referendum announcement drew a savagely hostile reaction from the group of Eurozone finance ministers, including 26 County finance minister Michael Noonan. They ordered the withdrawal of the cash liquidity necessary to support the Greek banking system, forcing its government to implement capital controls, including the closure of banks and restrictions on the use of public ATMs.

The mainstream media in Greece also campaigned strongly in support of the austerity package and sought to inflame fears among the public with horror predictions of food and medicines becoming scarce in the wake of a ‘No’ result.

According to data released as counting took place this evening, its clear those reports had an effect: young Greeks voted ‘No’ by more than a 65% margin, while in the over 55 age group there was a clear ‘Yes’ vote.

An end to hypocrisy

It was mostly young people who began filling up Syntagma Square in central Athens on Sunday evening as the results began to flow.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis hailed the results from the country’s referendum on a bailout deal with international creditors, and said the vote had ended “five years of hypocrisy”.

Speaking to reporters, he said Greece had said "Yes" to a better vision of the eurozone.

SYRIZA party colleague Dimitris Papadimoulis said that Greek people had proved they want to remain in Europe on the basis of equality “and not as a debt colony”.

Minister of state Nikos Papas said it would be wrong to link a "No" result to an exit from the eurozone. But there are concerns that Euro leaders will follow through on blackmail threats made against Greece in the days before the vote.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz told German public radio today that the Greek people would be expelled from the eurozone, even though such a move would be illegal under European law as it stands.

“If after the referendum, the majority is a ‘no,’ they will have to introduce another currency because the euro will no longer be available for a means of payment”, he declared.

Courageous

Responding to the referendum result, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams said the people of Greece had made a historic decision against austerity and an unsustainable bailout package.

“This democratic decision must be respected by all EU leaders”, he said. “I wish to commend the people of Greece for this significant exercise in democracy on behalf of Greece and the rest of the EU. I also want to commend Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government for the courageous leadership they have shown. The big question facing all citizens of the European Union today, including Irish citizens is whether people have the right to assert democratic control over decisions which affect their lives. That is at the heart of the crisis in Greece. It is also a huge issue in Ireland.”

Sinn Fein MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Matt Carthy, said that the “irrefutable” decision of the Greek people must be respected and acted upon.

“The bravery of the Greek people must now be followed by respect and action on the part of EU institutions and governments,” he said. “The comments from EU leaders throughout the past week have been unhelpful and the position of the Irish government has been shameful. Now is the time for Europe to redeem itself. It is clear that Greek debt relief is absolutely necessary and that the country needs measures that will facilitate growth rather than imprison the Greek people with further economic turmoil.”

 

GUE/NGL: A victory for European democracy!

By Gabi Zimmer, European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) president

July 5, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I have a huge respect for the courage of the Greek people who have voted “NO” in the referendum today, despite an unprecedented campaign of fear by the EU’s ruling elites, despite the threat of being thrown out of the Eurozone and despite the continuing uncertainty. The cradle of democracy has shown the rest of the EU that democratic will is far stronger than the scaremongering and threats of the ruling elites. The people of Greece now have the dignity they fought for in this game that is totally unworthy of the EU institutions.

The NO in the referendum means the Greeks are saying YES to a socially just distribution of the burdens for the sustainable reforms necessary in their country to fight corruption and nepotism. They are saying YES to sustainable reconstruction and growth of their economic structures and to reduce military spending. Above all, they are saying YES to mandatory negotiations on debt restructuring, including a haircut. They are saying YES to European integration and YES to European democracy.

You, the Greek people, have rebuffed [Germany's finance minister Wolfgang] Schäuble and all those who want to split the Eurozone and the EU. You have not been intimidated and have braved the bullying. Thank you to all those people who believe in European democracy and a social Europe. The Greeks have strengthened the position of their government for new negotiations with the creditors. It is time that [Germany's Chanceller Angela] Merkel and [France's President Francois] Hollande assume their responsibilities and give primacy to politics and democracy over the rule of neoliberal financial market supporters.

Our solidarity is now stronger than ever with the people of Greece, of southern Europe and of all those EU regions which have had to pay the price for those gambling and speculating on the banks and the financial markets.

 

Party of the European Left congratulates the Greek people for its forceful defense of democracy

Brussels, July 6, 2015 -- The Party of the European Left (EL) congratulates the Greek people for its clear and emphatic expression in favour of democracy and against austerity and the massacre that the Troika has imposed them.

The attacks of the system’s mass media, relentless these last days into a campaign of fear, and the catastrophic messages of Merkel, Junker, Draghi and other spokespeople of the neoliberalism have been useless.

The people have spoken and with a very qualified majority, have said that they want other politics different from that made before the arrival of the left government, that drove the country to the humanitarian disaster that Greek people are suffering today.

The EL has joined the voices of social movements, trade unions and parties that have been supporting Syriza in this hard combat and with them we will continue fighting in the streets and in the institutions for another social, egalitarian, united and just Europe.

It is fundamental to be alert these next days since a battle has been gained but the enemy is very powerful and is going to try for all the means to continue with its austeruty politics.

We must keep on occupying the streets in support to the Greek people and to all the European peoples, as well as the whole world in its struggle for recovering their rights continuing with the European mobilisations.

 

Comments

Internationalist Workers Left (DEA) statements on OXI vote

Greece voted "no" by a landslide margin against the blackmailers of Europe in a referendum on whether the government, led by the radical left party SYRIZA, should accept further drastic austerity measures on top of those that have plunged the economy deeper into crisis over the past five years.

The vote on Sunday, July 5, came more than five months after SYRIZA won the January 25 elections and formed a government based on the promise of reversing austerity measures ratified by previous governments in return for a bailout of the Greek financial system. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a deal with the eurozone finance minsters in February that retreated on many of SYRIZA's promises, but the rulers of Europe kept demanding more. With the lenders refusing to make any concessions--and cutting off desperately needed funds for the Greek government as blackmail--Tsipras finally announced a vote by the Greek people on whether to accept the eurozone's latest humiliation or not.

The lopsided victory for the "no" side has echoed around the world. SocialistWorker.org will publish more analysis of the referendum and its impact, plus reports from Greece. Here, we print statements by two Greek socialists, Sotiris Martalis and Antonis Davanellos. Both are members of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), a revolutionary socialist group that was a cofounder of SYRIZA more than a decade ago. They are also members of SYRIZA's Central Committee and well-known voices of the party's Left Platform.

Sotiris' words are excerpted from a speech delivered to the final rally of Socialism 2015, a conference attended by more than 1,000 people over the July 2-5 weekend and co-sponsored by SW and the International Socialist Organization. Antonis' statement, written before the results of the referendum were clear, was sent from Greece to be read at the rally.

People flooded into the square outside Greece's parliament to celebrate the "no" victory

 

People flooded into the square outside Greece's parliament to celebrate the "no" victory

Sotiris Martalis

EVERY ONE OF you knows the news, but I want to have the pleasure of telling you again. With all of the ballots counted, the "no" vote has won with 61.3 percent of the vote.

The second thing I can tell you is that in Syntagma Square, there is a huge demonstration taking place right now against austerity and in celebration of the "no" vote. At the same time, in the opposite camp, the conservatives have asked for the resignation of the former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as head of the New Democracy party. Meanwhile, a meeting has been called of leaders of all the governments in Europe because Europe faces a crisis.

This was a hard struggle. They used everything against us. They closed the banks. They canceled bank cards. Every day in the news, for hours and hours, they would show pictures of lines of people out of banks. They spread fear, promising that tomorrow, you will have no money. Tomorrow, you will have no medicine. Tomorrow, you will have no pension.

The European governments and media also helped to spread the terror. They changed the question of the referendum from "yes or no on the austerity agreement" to "yes or no on the eurozone."

They tried everything. And against all this, the people succeeded.

We have come a long way, but we have a very long way still to go. Our goal--socialism--is a long way off. This was the second victory in the battle, but the war is not over. We must continue the war. We have many problems in front of us, and we must work to overcome them.

How did we get to this point? The first victory came with the election of January 25, which created a huge disruption for the ruling class and its austerity program. They tried all through these months to reverse the result of the election. But today's vote showed that the opposition was deep, and that people want to continue this fight.

What was the basis for these victories for SYRIZA? One was the party's promise to stop austerity. But the leadership of SYRIZA said to the people that there would be an easy way to accomplish this. They said they would be able to stop austerity by negotiating with the lenders. They said that because the right's program has reached a dead end and is destroying Greek society, we could make an agreement with the lenders that will be a win-win agreement--one where both sides will benefit.

But from the beginning, the Left Platform in SYRIZA said that this promise was false. From the beginning, we said there must be a hard challenge to the lenders.

In February, the leaders of the government made an agreement that was a serious mistake. They said that we would pay all the debt, and do so on time. And for this, the promise was that the lenders would release some funds for the bailout. But in the five months since then, nothing has gone to Greece. On the contrary, they have taken 17 billion euros from Greece--7 billion euros since the victory of SYRIZA in January.

And still, the leadership of SYRIZA retreated further and went back to the lenders with a proposal that was unacceptable to the people inside and outside the party that supported it. Their proposal accepted the privatizations, increased the value-added sales tax and so on.

The Red Network stated its disagreements with this proposal. We said openly and publicly that we would not vote for this kind of agreement, either in the Central Committee of the party or inside the parliament. We organized with other forces to make this statement at public meetings. And other forces of the Left Platform said the same thing, at least with respect to the vote in the Central Committee.

Tsipras was caught in the crossfire. On one side was the lenders, who want to smash this government in order to show Sinn Fein and Podemos and every other force of resistance in Europe that there is no alternative--that this is what happens if you challenge austerity.

But on the other side was the left of SYRIZA. We said we would not vote for this agreement, and Tsipras knew that the government would fall.

How will Tsipras act now that the referendum is over? His main line was that we needed a "no" vote so that he will have the democratic demand of our people to go back to negotiations in a stronger position. Our campaign for a "no" vote was different. In the unions, in the branches of SYRIZA, in the communities and everywhere, we said simply that a vote for "no" was a vote to stop austerity, to stop the privatizations, to stop the layoffs and to increase the wages of the people.

These are very different positions. And this is the problem we will face in the coming days. I can think of 20 scenarios of how this might play out, but the point is not to guess about them.

The important point is that the left is in a much stronger position going into the next steps of the struggle.

I want to finish on a personal note.

These have been disastrous times for people like us in Greece. They have cut salaries by 35 percent. The cost of taxes has increased by eight times--not by 8 percent, or 80 percent, but eight times. There are 1.5 million people who are unemployed, which is 30 percent of the working class. And in addition to that, there are 800,000 people who are working, but they haven't been paid in weeks or months.

There is so much misery. But at the same time, I am happy. We are making history in Greece. We are living history now. These are chances that revolutionaries do not always get even in their whole lifetimes. And I have seen it twice in my life--once after we overthrew the dictatorship in Greece, and now we have a chance to overthrow austerity.

You are fighting in very difficult conditions here. We know that you are in the heart of the capitalist system, but you must know that at the same time, we fight for you and with you, and we have gained a great deal of support from your organization.

And so I will close with the words that have been chants in Greece: SYRIZA, Podemos, venceremos! Oxi, oxi, oxi!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Antonis Davenellos

Dear comrades, we are living in a historic moment in Greece. As we write this message, we don't know the result of the referendum. We don't know whether we will suffer a major defeat or we will achieve a huge political victory, against mighty enemies.

As all the leaders of the European Union have said, the referendum in Greece is a choice between accepting and rejecting austerity policies. That is why the neoliberal leaderships all around Europe are weighing in decisively in favor of a "yes" vote.

They are openly blackmailing and threatening the population of Greece with economic strangulation. Their stated goal is to overthrow the government of SYRIZA, the first government in modern European history that is led by a party to the left of social democracy.

Inside the country, the referendum has created a clear class and political divide. On the side of the "yes" vote are the capitalists, the rich, the upper middle class that still has savings in the banks. Politically, they are supported by an alliance of the right wing, the social democrats and the "post-political" center-left Potami party. Most importantly, they are supported by the mass media and the constant blackmail of employers who are campaigning actively in favor of a "yes" vote.

On the side of the "no" vote are the workers, the popular classes, the poor. Politically, they are supported mostly by SYRIZA and--thank god--ANTARSYA, which had the courage to overcome sectarianism and take a clear stand in favor of a "no" vote.

The Communist Party, in this incredibly polarized situation, chose the road of abstentionism. They advocated a spoiled ballot, neither yes nor no! They are giving a better chance of victory to the worst enemies of our class. They will pay a price, both in elections and on the streets, in the years to come.

We state again that we don't know whether we will win or lose. What we do know is that we fought, we are fighting, and we will continue to fight. That is why we believe that the left in Greece will remain strong and continue the struggle.

Many people, even among the international left, believed that SYRIZA was like a star falling from the sky in the middle of the night--that it would shine for a while before it disappeared forever. Underestimating the harsh difficulties we were facing, they preferred to provide us with predictions, rather than solidarity: SYRIZA will be a betrayer in the future, SYRIZA will be a betrayer right now, SYRIZA has already betrayed us. Together with thousands of activists of the left in Greece, we have proved them wrong.

Today, all around Europe, our class is facing a major assault, one of historic importance. This is what neoliberalism is about--a war unleashed by our enemies, a war that until now they are winning.

In Greece, the workers' resistance escalated to such a point that it caused a political break. It gave rise to an anti-austerity party, SYRIZA and brought it to power in government.

We are aware that we are the "advanced guard" unit of the European left that has reached the enemy lines and is facing the ferocity of the enemy forces. As a unit that is leading the charge, it is possible that we might be defeated--that we might suffer major casualties. But we will have paved the way for our brothers and sisters who are coming after us--in Ireland, in Spain, in Portugal.

We will hold on as long as we can until the major battalions of our class arrive at the battlefield--the left in France and Italy. And then we shall win.

Forgive us for the warlike tone of this message. But this is how we are experiencing the situation in Greece right now. We are facing a merciless political and class war, and we are under heavy enemy fire.

We understood SYRIZA and related to it in this open way from the beginning, with our most important criterion being the escalation of class struggle and the political struggle. This never meant that we underestimated--or even worse, collaborated with--the retreats of SYRIZA's leadership. We could easily provide you with a long list of persistent and difficult conflicts with the leadership of SYRIZA.

But for us, the important thing was that we had built the left wing of SYRIZA systematically and in an organized manner. This left can raise its voice on the front lines when it agrees with the party's policy, but it can also prevent compromises and unacceptable retreats when it disagrees. Today, everyone, from Angela Merkel to the Greek mass media--knows that they cannot make plans for Greece without taking into account the strength of a genuinely radical left current inside SYRIZA.

This is why we are standing before you with pride, because we know that we have done our duty. And that is why our organization is stronger and healthier than ever.

Dear comrades, we know that you are fighting for the same goals we fight for, and in this struggle, you are facing the mightiest enemy on the planet. The best help you can give us is to keep up this struggle. With one additional goal: Defend and strengthen the International Socialist Organization. You are providing an example--as we do and as other comrades all over the planet do--that in the most different situations, the insistence on the building of revolutionary socialist organization is an indispensable part of the more general plan for the political victory of our class.

And in this struggle, you should know, dear comrades, that on the other side of the seas, in a small country called Greece, a large and active left will continue, under all circumstances, to fight for you, too.

Statement: Red Network -- A no vote against blackmail

http://socialistworker.org/2015/07/01/a-no-vote-against-blackmail

The following statement was issued by the Red Network , an alliance of revolutionary organizations within SYRIZA that participate in the party's Left Platform.

July 1, 2015

THE GOVERNMENT'S decision to reject the ultimatum of the lenders, to refuse to sign a new Memorandum imposing hyper-austerity, and to ask for an expression of the will of the people by referendum on July 5 is a decision that transforms Greek politics.

This decision proves that the challenge begun by the social struggles to resist austerity and continued with the elections on January 25 is deeper and more durable than the supporters of neoliberalism, both local and international, anticipated. It also frees SYRIZA and the popular hopes for change from the dead end of continuing negotiations with the lenders and the impasse resulting from the February 20 agreement with the lenders.

This proves what we, among the most critical voices inside SYRIZA, insisted in the months that have passed since the election: SYRIZA cannot be easily transformed into a party of austerity.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

FROM THE moment that Alexis Tsipras announced the referendum, a battle of extreme importance was underway.

The "institutions" and the leaders of European governments are directing their threats of economic strangulation not only against the left-wing government, but against the workers and popular masses of Greece.

Their local partners, including the "internal troika" of New Democracy, PASOK and Potami, are watching with fear as the international guardians of the Memorandums--the regime of hyper-austerity imposed throughout all these years on behalf of the bankers, industrialists and shipowners--are losing their hold.

Everything indicates that the coming days will see a furious battle in which both sides will go all-out. The working class and popular masses have every reason to fight this battle with all their strength, aiming for a clear victory. For a NO: No to Memorandums, no to austerity, no to debt, no to the blackmail of the lenders.

Winning this battle will renew the left-wing dynamic expressed in the working class and popular vote for SYRIZA in the January elections. It will show again that the political and social balance of forces has shifted in Greece.

A victory on July 5 will not return the situation to where things stood when the negotiations collapsed, with the despicable ultimatum of the lenders. A victory will underline, with even more urgency, the need to follow, quickly and unilaterally, the minimum anti-austerity measures that SYRIZA promised in the Thessaloniki program before the elections. That includes stopping debt repayments to the lenders, with the goal of cancelling a majority of the debt; carrying out measures to improve the life of workers and poor; and financing all of this with heavy taxes on corporations and the rich, renationalizing large public enterprises and putting the banks under social control.

Every necessary measure, whether political, diplomatic or financial, must be taken to ensure that this policy is carried out. Our response to the blackmail of the lenders is that the struggle against austerity will not be governed by concerns about the euro system or by the consent of the rulers of Europe.

In the days ahead, two distinct worlds will collide. On the one hand, there is the world of those who have benefited from the brutality of the Memorandums--the local elite and their international patrons and partners. They will rely on blackmail involving the banks, on draining capital out of the country, on causing a chaotic crisis.

On the other hand, there is the world of workers and the poor, which has no advantages to rely on other than the fact that it is vast majority of people in society.

The victory of one of these worlds will mean the defeat of the other. Therefore, no individual or organization on the left can hesitate for a moment. It is our duty to immediately build an alliance that will organize for a no vote--an alliance that can win a victory for the working class and the popular masses.

Regardless of the mistakes that have been made since January, and without underestimating the unprecedented difficulties we face in this moment, now is not the time for academic debates. It is time for struggle. It is a time to claim a great victory for the working people of Greece that will significantly change the existing state of affairs.

OKDE-Spartakos: “No” was only the beginning!

Wednesday 8 July 2015, by OKDE-Spartakos

This statement was made by OKDE-Spartakos, Greek section of the Fourth International and member of Antarsya, the Anti-capitalist Left Coalition, on 5 July 2015.

* * *

The "NO" answer in the 5th of July’s referendum was a painful slap against the traditional parties of the capital, the bourgeoisie, the systemic media. At the short period before the referendum, this disputatious alliance had extorted and terrorized the people, using all means available: Via television, through newspapers, into the work places. They only managed to make fool of themselves and to increase the class hate even more.

The referendum turned into a pure class fight, regardless of Syriza’s intentions. The working class voted NO and rejected the settlement massively, despite the historical betrayal of the General Working Union’s bureaucracy, which sided openly with the "YES" and with the capitalists. The bourgeoisie fought hard in favor of YES, even its parts which weren’t hostile to Syriza. The majority of the middle class, having almost nothing to loose anymore, formed into line with the working class and voted NO. In contrary to those who called for national unity and amity, it became clear to everyone that two, totally different "societies" exist in the country: The exploiters and the exploited. The escalation of the class consciousness of a large part of the working class creates a vast amount of fear to those who are afraid of a clear expression of the class and choose the national unity as their main slogan, in order to promote the complacency and the social peace.

Those who tried to avoid a clear state in this class fight, naturally found themselves in the fringe. Especially the Communist Party (KKE), promoting abstention in the referendum, served the working class poorly and, like its position in December 2008, once again conformed to middle class fears and to the bourgeoisie.

This class struggle wasn’t just limited to the vote. This fight actualized in the streets, in the working places, inside the universities, in the neighborhoods. Without the huge demonstrations and marches, the fear would have prevailed and the outcome of the election would have probably been different.

The anticapitalist Left and the revolutionary organizations played the lead role at the No movement and forced pressure to Syriza not to sign the agreement initially. In particular ANTARSYA, despite the partial mistakes, became the stronger feature of the most dynamic and decisive part of the movement. The anticapitalist Left is a social and political reality in the streets and in the working places. Syriza has no right to think that this movement and this NO is its property.

The confidence this NO victory gives us should not become complacency. The next day should be a day of even harder battles. Without any doubt, Syriza will return to the negotiation table in order to discuss austerity measures regarding the workers, with the hope that the institutions will be lenient. Also, without any doubt too, the bourgeoisies of Greece and Europe, along with the bureaucrats of E.U., will try to take revenge. We should not let the NO to be defeated, neither be “stolen”, nor to degenerate to a negotiation paper.

The class front, which struggled in the favor of NO, should reject any new agreement and any new measures. It must demand wage increases and collective working contracts. It must impose the split with the IMF and the EU. It must claim for the banks and big corporations’ nationalization under the workers’ control, as the only solution against the banks’ extortions and the bosses’ sabotage. It must disarm the police, which even under the Syriza government, protected the YES and suppressed the NO demonstrations. It must completely crack the Nazis of Golden Dawn, which is going to exploit a part of the NO, a NO which they supported with false pretences, for political survival purposes. We do not have the slightest delusion that the Syriza-ANEL government will pursue such measures. We are confident that the power of the workers can achieve them.

The working class showed indeed its power against the alliance of the main parties of the capital, against the bosses’ terrorism, the bureaucracy and the mechanisms of the "deep" state. With massive and tenacious struggles and long-term strikes, we must enlarge the gap which has opened inside the stability of the system and never let it close again. In this battle, the role of a strong anticapitalistic Left, independent of the reformism and the government, is crucial.

Fourth International on No victory

The victory of the "no" announces decisive battles against the Troika
by Secretariat of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International (July 7)
International Viewpoint, July 8
<http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article4113>
. . .
Whereas Syriza had won 2.2 million votes in January, the "no" gathered
3.5 million votes, with a turnout one per cent less than in January.
Even adding on the voters of ANEL and part of those of the fascist
Golden Dawn (which called for a "no" vote), the polarization around
Syriza brought more than 600,000 votes, accentuating the crisis of the
Greek representatives of the Troïka, New Democracy (ND), PASOK and To
Potami. The crises of PASOK and ND were accentuated, symbolized by the
resignation of their leaders within a few days of each other. The hope
of the Troïka, echoed by all the media, of seeing a “respectable”
government take over quickly went up in smoke.

The European leaders have just lost a second round in Greece. Having
worn out the traditional parties over five years by an unbearable
pressure on the Greek people, they hoped that the arrival of Syriza in
January would be a brief interlude of a few weeks before the return of
"serious people" to head Greece. After the retreat by Tsipras at the
time of the agreement on February 20, they gambled on a quick
surrender, and at the end of June, they counted on a victory of the
"yes." Merkel and Hollande made the calculation that thanks to the
strangulation of the banks, the referendum would bring Tsipras to his
knees, forcing him to resign or to submit.

As the third round begins, the reasoning is the same: after the shock
of their defeat, the European leaders are bouncing back with their
usual arrogance. They say that they "respect" the vote of the Greek
people, while announcing that they will not take account of it. They
do not intend to change their policies in any way, and for them the
cancellation of the debt, or even debt relief, is not a subject to be
discussed.

There are voices in the camp of the capitalist leaders in favour of
accepting at least a partial abandonment of the debt: the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) itself recognizes the absurdity of
asking Greece to strangle its economy and increase its debt to
reimburse the institutions. The US administration is also concerned
that pushing Greece out of the euro zone could create both a crisis of
the European Union as a whole and a risk of a geostrategic shift on
the borders of Europe.

But Angela Merkel and the European leaders want to impose a political
defeat on the Greek people and their government. Agreeing to cancel a
300 billion euro debt is clearly not an economic problem: the European
Central Bank (ECB) is going to create and inject 1,100 billion euros
into the European economy by the end of 2016 to counter deflation.

It is a political choice, because for them it is out of the question
to accept that a people, by its sovereign choice, can refuse to
implement the decisions of the European institutions.

The proof has just been given to everyone that the European Union and
its institutions are not a neutral space or framework. They are
political constructions, organized by the capitalists in order to
escape from any popular control in the implementation of their
interests. This construction will not be reformed. It is illusory to
seek to conduct an alternative policy while accepting the sovereignty
of these autocratic institutions.

Therefore, in the coming days, with a new relationship of forces, the
alternative for the Greek government will be the same as in the
previous weeks: accept an agreement that continues and worsens the
attacks against the population or take another road, that of a radical
break.

...The policy of the "international institutions" was overwhelmingly
rejected last Sunday. As a result the mandate from the Greek people is
unambiguous: it expresses a radical rejection of an agreement that
prolongs unemployment, poverty, the dismantling of social rights and
public services.

This mandate requires the termination of the payment of the
illegitimate and odious debt, a path that, with the nationalization
and control of the banking system, gives the Greek people sovereignty
over its political, economic and social choices. These are the choices
expressed by the Greek left, mainly the left of Syriza and the
activists of Antarsya, who contributed to the victory of the “no”.

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