January 25th, a First Victory for the Workers!
The electoral result of January 25 constitutes a victory for the workers, the unemployed, the poor social layers, the youth, a victory for all of us who have fought in the previous years of the “memorandum” with General Strikes, strikes in individual workplaces, demonstrations, occupations of public squares, schools and university departments. It is a victory for all those who did not believe the lies of the pro-memorandum governments and the EU – telling us that “everyone is to blame” – who did not succumb to their blackmails, who turned to the left, bringing a left party to power and giving the Left almost 43% of the vote.
The memorandum regime took a serious blow. Its parties suffered a heavy defeat and are in crisis, they shatter and some disappear. New Democracy and PASOK did not convince many, despite the campaign of blackmail they resorted to. Those who have committed crimes against the Greek people, those who have supported the capitalist system with memorandums, leading 35% of Greek society to poverty, bringing down wages to a minimum, driving 1.5 million people to unemployment, those who sell off the national property of the Greek people were crushed. The “State of Emergency” of the riot police (MAT) as well as the reactionary content of the memorandums must be done away with as quickly as possible.
Next to New Democray, PASOK and the rest of the servants of the memorandums and the system, the European Union and the imperialists, especially those of Germany, were also defeated – The EU, this main enemy of the workers, who was trying until the very last moment up to the elections to blackmail so as to ensure a continuation of the memorandums, by keeping its chosen political parties in power. The EU and the Eurozone are destabilizing, workers’ struggles are developing in the heart of the EU. On a European level, a new era for the struggles of the workers opens.
The Enemies and the Problems Remain – They Threaten to Return us to the Previous Situation!
The pro-memorandum forces, inside and outside the border, have lost the first round and have already launched a counter-offensive in order to win the battle and impose memorandums and a new memorandum regime. They continue to possess strong footholds and leverage, they are determined to go until the end in order to defend the usurers, the big business capitalists of Greece and the EU. They still “hold” us inside the Euro straightjacket, in which Greece cannot remain without constant memorandums. The still “hold” us through the usurious debt, which Greece cannot pay back, even after ten memorandums. They “hold” us through the supposedly democratic European institutions, which everyday prove to be simply blunt apparatuses of control and blackmail of countries and their peoples, serving the interests of big European capital.
The explosive problems of the working class remain and ask desperately for a solution. Huge unemployment, poverty, marginal wages, the abolition of collective working contracts, the collapse of education, of hospitals, of the social security system is not only a result of the memorandums but also of the sepsis and decay of the capitalist system – of the logic of profit, competition, private property on banks, factories, transport, communication, trade. This system has deteriorated, it tends to nullify the country’s production, it destroys our social and political rights. If this system is not replaced, it will continue to generate debts, deficits, social mayhem, a “need” for measures against the workers. We need an economy under the control of the workers, which will operate according to our own needs, which will be democratically planned on a national level, which will not rely on the “goodwill” of the speculating “investors” and the markets. An economy which will set as a primary goal:
– the absorption of the unemployed back into production
– the retrieval of the losses in wages, pensions and the public income
– the salvation of the systems of education, health and social security through the development of the productive sectors,
– the abolition of the State of Emergency and all the anti-worker, anti-popular pieces of legislation, and the immediate restoration of democratic rights and freedoms, of collective working contracts, of popular and national sovereignty,
– the re-nationalization of all public enterprises which have been privatized, and the nationalization of banks and key-sectors of the economy under workers’ control.
No to New Memorandum Policies or Lists of Reforms
The relief all workers have felt with the defeat of the pro-memorandum ND and PASOK soon began to fade. All doubts and concerns regarding the determination of SYRIZA to implement its program or its governmental statements seems to be verified by the hour. The “agreement” between the government and the Eurogroup, announced on 20-2-2015 constitutes an immense retreat, because, in short: 1) it extends the memorandum regime for at least 4 months, 2) it recognizes the whole of the debt and the loan contract, 3) it extends the control/surveillance of the economic, social and political life of the country by the representatives of the speculating lenders, which are now termed “the institutions” instead of “the Troika”, 4) it almost entirely cancels even the moderate program of SYRIZA, which the latter had promised to the Greek people, 5) it undermines the victory of the Greek people, who on January 25 and with its previous struggles gave a hard answer to the treacherous Samars-Venizelos government and also to the financial and political elite of the EU and 6) it shows that the final agreement, to be signed in June, may drive us back to the Armageddon of the policies of the memorandums.
Forward with Workers’ Struggles Everywhere! For a Program which can Solve our Problems!
The despicable agreement does not lend itself to statements of triumph, as SYRIZA is doing. But neither is it correct to draw comparisons between the subordinate, pro-memorandum politicians like Samaras and Venizelos. The truth is that everything still remains on the table of the so-called “negotiation” – the memorandums and the troika remain, even if the words have been scraped off the text of the “agreement”.
It is also a fact, verified by everyday experience, that if Greece remains in the framework of the EU/Eurozone and the euro-straightjacket, this will entail a suffocating control/surveillance of the economic, social and political life by the imperialists of the EU and Germany, policies of squeezing the social and political rights of the workers, an violation of popular and national sovereignty – regardless of whether they will call it “memorandums” or not, as is the case with every single EU country, especially those of the Eurozone. And this proves once more how wrong all those who talked about a “peoples’ Europe” were – including of course the main advocate of this opinion, SYRIZA.
There can be no complacency. We must struggle along with the millions of European workers against the memorandum policies, against the blackmail of the EU/Eurozone and especially of the German imperialists. We know that the economic, social and political situation is extremely difficult (Greek capitalism is bankrupt) and that reversing this situation is even more difficult. However, it becomes impossible as long as we remain in the EU/Eurozone and the Euro, without radical measures which will strike at the root of the problem – i.e. anti-capitalist solutions and measures.
This colossal undertaking cannot and must not be entrusted in the new SYRIZA government, because its weak alliances in government, in the Presidential issue, its timid program, the illusions SYRIZA cultivates concerning parliamentary institutions and, above all, the recognition of the “sanctity” of the EU, the Euro and the debt, and now the agreement with the Eurogroup cannot but eventually lead us to compromises at the expense of the workers, in disillusionments and defeats, including even a return to the Armageddon of the memorandums. Workers, poor social layers and youth, we must take matters in our own hands.
We have entered the most critical and decisive phase of the cycle that opened in 2009-2010, a phase in which many things will be decided. We must defend and broaden the victory achieved on January 25. The breach that has opened must deepen even more with anti-capitalist solutions, that will strike at the root of the problem, the rotting and bankrupt capitalist system. To achieve this we need the unity of the workers and the struggle for unity, the unity of the workers’ movement in and for struggles. We must prepare for the coming clash, we must put forward our workers’ demands, we must deal with poverty, organize struggles. We must move forward with bringing to power a Workers’ Government, which will impose in practice such a program, in order to salvage us from the crisis and bankruptcy of the capitalist system.
NOT A SINGLE STEP BACK – FIGHT TO THE END!
ORGANIZATION OF COMMUNISTS INTERNATIONALISTS OF GREECE