Socialist Worker

Greece can break from the cuts consensus and default on debt

Issue No. 2249

Greece is being buffeted around in the financial markets as speculation grows that it will default on its huge debts.

The country’s massive austerity package of cuts, which has devastated workers’ lives, is not enough for the markets.

Plans to privatise national industries and sell off beaches and government buildings are met with calls to go further.

Market jitters means that the interest rates on Greece’s borrowing on international markets are becoming exorbitant, creating further problems.

Greece’s troubles are a further indictment of the consensus for dealing with crisis-ridden countries. The usual prescription is a bailout by the European Union and the IMF, accompanied by huge public spending cuts.

For capitalists, a debt default or even restructuring of the payments would be a disaster, throwing Greece into deeper crisis.

But a default can actually point to a way out of the turmoil, if a different strategy was followed.

Greece could suspend its debt repayments and withdraw from the euro, so that it could take control over its economy again. This would be a major break from the neoliberal consensus.

A radical programme would mean nationalising the banking system, redistributing the wealth from the rich to the poor and carrying out a programme of public works.

The only way it could be won is by action from below.

Greece’s workers’ struggle is a beacon to everyone around the world fighting for change.

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What We Think
Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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