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Socialist Alliance on Greece: 'This is a coup, cancel the debt!'

Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia) national executive

July 16, 2015 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialist Alliance condemns the effective imposition of colonial status on Greece by the ruling institutions of the European Union (EU), which represent the interests of the big banks whose speculative excesses contributed in great part to the accumulation of the “Greek debt” they are now seeking to recover.

This is a coup and a brutal assault on democracy.

The popular will of the Greek people, expressed in the 61.3% "Oxi" (“No”) vote in the July 5 referendum on the previous European Union austerity demands is being denied and even the decisions of the Greek parliament has been put under EU supervision and control.

Greece is now being forced to accept even more intensified austerity — after years of brutal austerity which has made half of all young workers jobless, created a shortage of essential medicines, raised child malnutrition rates levels not seen since World War II and already cut pensions by
15-44%.

Greece’s public property will be now privatised in a fire sale and the meagre proceeds used to service the un-serviceable debt.

The so-called "Greek debt" is immoral, illegal and unpayable. Even the International Monetary Fund has now admitted that the debt is "highly unsustainable" and has urged debt relief on a much greater scale than the EU has yet to consider.

This debt should be cancelled completely and the financial institutions which have profited from this debt should pay reparations to the Greek people for the horrific pain, suffering, damage and dislocation they have caused.

Socialist Alliance calls on the Australian government to support the cancellation of the Greek debt in any relevant international forums it has a voice or vote in.

Many people around the world who had been building solidarity with the SYRIZA government of Greece were shocked when PM Alexis Tsipras announced that he would be urging the Greek parliament to endorse the latest EU austerity package. Tsipras, who argued for the deal on the grounds it was the least worst option, admits it is a bad deal and that he "doesn't believe in it".

We recognise that the isolation of Greece's government in Europe and weakness of the popular forces across the continent strengthened the hands of Greece's creditors.

This deal represents the opposite of the platform that SYRIZA was elected to implement. The Socialist Alliance applauds the SYRIZA members of parliament — and others, including the SYRIZA government's former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis — who, on July 15-16, voted against the measures implementing the latest "accord" with the EU. These measures were adopted by the parliament with the support of support of the right-wing parties PASOK, Potami, New Democracy and Independent Greeks.

Varoufakis said that he resigned as finance minister in order to the fight the EU's austerity package. The deputy foreign minister for European affairs, Nikos Hountis, and the deputy finance minister, Nadia Valavani, have also resigned in opposition to the “accord”.

The Socialist Alliance also notes the statement of rejection of this "accord" by 109 of the 201 members of the SYRIZA Central Committee. This statement defended the popular anti-austerity mandate from the July 5 referendum and SYRIZA’s election platform.

The Socialist Alliance expresses its solidarity with the Greek public sector trade unions which held a general strike against this austerity blackmail on the same day and we will continue to extend our solidarity, to the best of our ability, with the ongoing popular resistance to the EU imposed austerity and the colonial dictates of its big banks.

Socialists all around the world must not let the people of Greece stand alone. We pledge to do our best to build and strengthen international and regional solidarity networks with the people of Greece in their struggle against austerity and the dictatorship of the bankers.

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