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Greece

Richard Seymour: The challenge of SYRIZA

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

By Richard Seymour

"...this isn't just another election. The choice is between a New Democracy-led austerity government, which would be immensely demoralising, and a SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government, which would give the whole continental left a massive shot in the arm and open up a host of new possibilities. This is a key moment in which a great deal is condensed, which will be formative of a great deal of the political and ideological terrain for some time, and any formation that appears to bring the latter possibility closer isn't helping the industrial struggle."

Tariq Ali: The rotten heart of Europe (video)

May 15, 2012 -- Tariq Ali's keynote lecture on the state of Europe presented at the annual Subversive Forum, the theme of which this year was "The future of Europe", held in Zagreb, Croatia, May 13-19, 2012. He explains the evolution of the European Union and its role, and touches on the crisis in Greece.

Greece: SYRIZA's 40-point program

 

See also SYRIZA's 2014 governmental program: "Greece: What a SYRIZA government will do"

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

May 27, 2012 -- The following is translated from the daily bulletin of Italy’s Communist Refoundation Party, which has published the official program of the Greek coalition of the radical  left, SYRIZA. The text was first translated by and posted at The Greanville Post. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of informing the discussion on the left response to the Greek crisis.

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1. Audit of the public debt and renegotiation of interest due and suspension of payments until the economy has revived and growth and employment return.

2. Demand the European Union to change the role of the European Central Bank so that it finances states and programs of public investment.

3. Raise income tax to 75% for all incomes over 500,000 euros.

4. Change the election laws to a proportional system.

5. Increase taxes on big companies to that of the European average.

6. Adoption of a tax on financial transactions and a special tax on luxury goods.

Greece: 'For an anti-austerity government of the left'

By Socialist Resistance (Britain)

This statement was agreed to at a meeting of the Socialist Resistance National Committee on May 26, 2012. Socialist Resistance is affiliated to the Fourth International. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to promote left discussion. For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.]

May 28, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- Syriza’s stunning vote in the recent elections has shaken the Greek and European ruling classes to their foundations. It was a total rejection of the austerity package, on a progressive basis, by 60% of the electorate and has created not only the biggest crisis, but the most significant class confrontation in Europe since the Portuguese revolution of 1974.

Message from SYRIZA to Chicago anti-NATO protests + photos, videos: massive, conscious, determined

Demonstrators defy Chicago police during anti-NATO protest march in Chicago, May 19, 2012.

By Antonis Davanellos and Sotiris Martalis, members of the coordinating secretariat of SYRIZA

May 20, 2012

Dear comrades, dear brothers and sisters of the anti-war movement

We salute your mobilisations against the NATO Summit [in Chicago] and we send you our solidarity from Greece.

We don’t need to say much about the reasons to raise our voices against NATO. Millions of people are familiar with its record or crimes over the last years in the Balkans, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya to name just a few.

And if we look further back, NATO has provided nothing but wars, dictatorships and terror around the globe, from the day it was founded, and during all the years of its existence.

Radio report: This week in Europe with Dick Nichols -- Greek and French elections

May 12, 2012 -- 3CR Solidarity Breakfast program -- Dick Nichols, Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal's European correspondent, discusses the week's (ending May 12, 2012) developments in Europe on Melbourne community radio 3CR. He discusses the election success of SYRIZA in Greece, the presidential election in France, developments in Spain, and what these mean for the rest of Europe.

Solidarity Breakfast

Greece: A meeting with SYRIZA's Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a European crisis, a capitalist crisis, not a Greek crisis ...'

May 14, 2012 -- Coalition of Resistance -- Britain's Greece Solidarity Campaign's recent delegation to Athens met with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left and president of Synaspismos. The delegation meeting him included national representatives from several trade unions UNITE, the Communication Workers Union, the Fire Brigades Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association.

Tsipras described as "catastrophic" the impact of austerity on Greek society, describing public hospitals on the brink of collapse with a shortage of medical supplies, and there were no new books at the start of the school year, so parents were forced to photocopy old ones. He said "it’s only a matter of time before the next social explosion".

Tsipras told the delegation that if austerity is the "prescription" to cure the economic crisis, it is "the medicine of disaster" and that the policies being imposed by the International Monetary Fund/European Union and World Bank are destroying social cohesion, destroying the political system and destroying the economy.

Greece: SYRIZA, the Communist Party and the desperate need for a united front

A united front of the left and sustained mass mobilisation are desperately needed in Greece.

By Michael Karadjis

May 16, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This article does not aim to give a full account of the current Greek political crisis. Rather, the crisis will be discussed with a focus on the failure of the Greek left to form a united front in the hour of need of the masses, with a historical look at the nature of the Greek left and the parties involved in it.

The sensational outcome of the May 6, 2012, Greek elections, in which SYRIZA, a coalition of left-reformist and radical left organisations, gained nearly 17% of the vote, second only to the right-wing New Democracy (ND) party, comes on the back of the catastrophe being imposed on the Greek working class as it is forced to pay for the crisis of Greek and European capital.

Grecia: las perspectivas de un gobierno de SYRIZA

Alexis Tsipras.

Para más análisis de la política en Grecia, AQUÍ.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2861.]

Por Christos Kefalis

13/5/2012 -- Sinpermiso -- Las elecciones legislativas del 6 de mayo han producido un resultado sensacional, abriendo un nuevo capítulo en la historia política de Grecia. Asimismo, repercutirán significativamente en la situación política europea.

 El resultado muestra una clara polarización entre derecha e izquierda y una ruptura de las fuerzas políticas dominantes hasta el momento, el Movimiento Socialista Panhelénico (PASOK) y Nueva Democracia, el llamado "sistema bipartidista", que ha dominado la vida política griega desde 1974.

(Updated May 13) Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

For more analysis of politics in Greece, click HERE.

STOP PRESS, May 13, 2012 -- In the wake of the failure of the three first-placed parties to secure a parliamentary majority, it is almost certain that a new election will be held. New opinion polls released May 12 show that support for Greece's austerity parties continues to drop, while the radical left SYRIZA has increased its vote since the May 6 elections, and is now Greece's most popular party. According to a poll by Kapa Research, SYRIZA Coalition of Radical Left would receive 20.5% of votes, 3.7% higher than May 6. Support for New Democracy fell to 18.1% from 18.85% in the elections, while PASOK would receive 12.2%, down from 13.2%. Support for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party fell to 5.8% from 7%, above the 3% threshold needed to enter parliament. The right-wing Independent Greeks was on 8.4%, while support for the Democratic Left party is on 5% and the KKE 6.5%. Another opinion poll published May 12 showed SYRIZA on 25.5% if elections were held now.

* * *

By Christos Kefalis, Athens

Το αποτέλεσμα των ελληνικών εκλογών και οι πολιτικές προοπτικές στην Ελλάδα

[English at Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?]

του Χρήστου Κεφαλή*

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Οι ελληνικές εκλογές της 6ης Μάη παρήγαγαν ένα συγκλονιστικό, εντυπωσιακό αποτέλεσμα που σίγουρα ανοίγει ένα νέο κεφάλαιο στην πολιτική ιστορία της Ελλάδας και θα έχει σημαντικές επίσης επιπτώσεις στην ευρωπαϊκή κατάσταση. Το αποτέλεσμα δείχνει μια σαφή πόλωση μεταξύ αριστεράς και δεξιάς και τη διάλυση των μέχρι σήμερα κυρίαρχων πολιτικών δυνάμεων του δικομματισμού.

(Updated May 8) Greece: Austerity parties smashed, radical left makes big gains

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is calling on the non-PASOK left to unite to form government and abolish austerity policies.

By Yiorgos Vassalos

May 7, 2012 -- Ypsilo's Weblog -- The parties that have ruled the country since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 -- New Democracy (Nea Dimokratia) and the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) -- have collapsed in the May 6 parliamentary elections. In all elections since 1974 (except 1990-91) one of these two parties was able to gain a clear majority in the parliament and form governement, jointly scoring from 70% to 90% of the vote. On May 6, their combined vote was 33%.

New Democracy has fallen from 33% in 2009  to 19%, and from 2.3 million votes to 1.2 million. PASOK has fallen from 44% to 13%, from 3 million votes to 800,000.

LAOS, the extreme right party that also supported the eurozone loan agreements and the anti-social memorandums, fell from 5.6% to 2.9% and from 386,000 to 182,000.

Greece: ANTARSYA statement on the parliamentary elections to be held on May 6

ANTARSYA, Front of the Greek Anti-Capitalist Left, is a united front of left-wing groups. It is separate from SYRIZA . There are a number of political differences between SYRIZA and ANTARSYA — including on whether to demand immediate withdrawal from the European Union.

The following was ANTARSYA’s position statement before the May 6, 2012, election. In the election ANTARSYA won 75,000 votes or 1.5% — which was not enough to  have one of its representatives enter parliament to use it as a platform. The text and notes were first published in English on the website of the Kasama Project.

* * *

International Women’s Day: the struggle for equality continues

By Socialist Alliance (Australia)

March 8, 2012 -- This International Women’s Day falls at a time when the environmental and economic crises of global capitalism are making life even harder for most women and the communities they live and work in. Capitalism’s crisis is hitting hard in the US and across Europe. It is particularly dire in Greece where school teachers and other essential service workers are being thrown out of work or being forced to take pay cuts of between 40-50%. Working-class women are being hit especially hard. The European-wide austerity drive of the 1% is designed to get the 99% to pay for their greed. However, as the huge protests by workers, students and the unemployed in Greece and across Europe reveal, the 99% is not giving in without a fight.

These mobilisations represent the continuity between the struggles of today and those of the early 20th century – struggles that gave rise to International Women’s Day 101 years ago.

Appeal for solidarity with the people of Greece

February 13, 2012 -- Coalition of Resistance -- The people of Greece face an unprecedented economic and political crisis. They are being driven to poverty and mass unemployment by the demands of the so-called Troika – the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund, which has imposed Lucas Papademos, former vice-president of the ECB, as prime minister.

Hospitals in Greece are running out of basic medicines, nearly half of all young people are unemployed, workers in some sectors have not been paid for months, and many are forced to resort to soup kitchens or scavenge from rubbish dumps.

Now the Troika demands a cut of 23% to the minimum wage, the sacking of tens of thousands of public sector workers and the decimation of pensions which have already lost nearly 50% of their value. International capital is asset stripping an entire country and ripping apart its social fabric.

Greece: Independent left MP – ‘The rulers are scared'

Sofia Sakorafa interviewed by the Greek journal Marxist Thought, translated by Christos Kefalis and Afrodity Giannakis for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

January 18, 2012 -- At the October 26, 2011, European summit it was agreed to slash Greece’s debt on the condition that a new, draconian austerity package and “memorandum”be carried out by the Greek government. After the agreement and a mass wave of protests on October 28, a referendum was announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou, only to be revoked a few days later. There then followed an endless series of negotiations, which led to the formation of a new coalition government headed by Loukas Papadimos. The new government was backed by right-wing capitalist party New Democracy, Papandreou’s social-democratic Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and LAOS, the ultra-right party.

Political crisis in Italy and Greece: Karl Marx on ‘technical governments’

By Marcello Musto

November 16, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In recent years Karl Marx has again been featuring in the world’s press because of his prescient insights into the cyclical and structural character of capitalist crises. Now there is another reason why he should be re-read in the light of Greece and Italy: the reappearance of the "technical government".

As a contributor to the New-York Tribune, one of the widest circulation dailies of his time, Marx observed the political and institutional developments that led to one of the first technical governments in history: the British cabinet of the Earl of Aberdeen, December 1852 to January 1855.

Tariq Ali on #Occupy: ‘The fog of confusion has finally lifted’

#Occupy Sydney march, November 5, 2011. Photo from Occupy Sydney.

For more reports on the Occupy movement, click HERE.

By Tariq Ali

October 25, 2011 -- Tariq Ali -- “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at”, wrote Oscar Wilde, “for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always landing. And when humanity lands there, it looks out, and seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”

The spirit of that 19th century socialist is alive among the idealistic young people who have come out in protest against the turbo-charged global capitalism that has dominated the world ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

'The EU Crisis Pocket Guide' for the 99%

October 2011 -- The Transnational Institute has produced a useful pocket guide -- The EU Crisis Pocket Guide -- on how a crisis made in Wall Street was made worse by EU policies, how it has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99%, and outlining some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits.

Download the booklet from these links, or read the 12-page version on screen below this article.

The euro on a knife edge: Are the Greeks to blame? What is the left position on the euro crisis?

On October 19 and 20, 2011, Greece will be stopped by the latest in a series of general strikes against austerity. Above and below: Workers march on October 19. All photos by WFTU International.

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

October 19, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- “Bloody Greeks—corrupt and lazy, born cheaters who think the world owes them a living. Why should the hard-working taxpayers of the euro zone core economies like Germany have to fund billion-euro rescue packages for those scoundrels?” That’s the vicious tone of Germany’s tabloids and conservative politicians towards Greece’s galloping public debt crisis and the Greek people’s protests against the austerity programs imposed on them by the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (the “troika”) as the price of bail-out funding.

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