Greek MPs voted to accept a “bailout” from Greece’s international creditors last night, Thursday—with eye-watering conditions. It is the third “memorandum” of austerity to be imposed on Greece since the financial crisis.
Current prime minister Alexis Tsipras of the radical left party Syriza was elected in January promising a break from this cycle.
The following is a statement from the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK).
The Tsipras government’s attempt to put a positive spin on the new memorandum—which it has rushed through parliament during the August holidays—can only provoke anger.
It is not an “agreement of gentle adjustment” but a brutal new attempt to impose on the working class the attacks that the governments of Labour-type Pasok and Tory New Democracy failed to get through.
The mere fact that the government’s propaganda now compares its measures with those that former prime minister Antonis Samaras was preparing is shameful for a party that defined itself as the radical left.
The new memorandum starts with a thousand and one ways of cutting wages and pensions.
It recapitalises the banks, while giving them new powers to seize properties and savings.
It accelerates privatisations and the “opening up of the market and professions”.
It pursues the dismantling of the public health service, education and social security in the name of the “primary surplus”.
It perpetuates the burden of a debt that cannot be repaid—a debt created by the capitalists and their banks for which workers have no responsibility.
Because of the class character of this new memorandum, the government is copying the anti-democratic tactics of its predecessors who are now its allies in parliament.
In order to impose the ultimatums of the “quartet”—the European Union, International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism—it is in an anti-democratic decline.
This is completed by the return of the police to their familiar practices of repressing protesters—and by the racist outrages against the immigrants and refugees who have to face the walls of Fortress Europe.
The workers’ movement has behind it years of struggle against this mixture of “European” austerity and racist repression. With these struggles it brought down the government of Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos.
It gave Syriza not one but two chances to prove itself ready and able to serve the interests of workers—the election of 25 January referendum and the referendum of 5 July.
This movement is the force that can guarantee that the third memorandum and the government that oversees it will have the same fate as their predecessors.
The demonstration called by public sector trade union federation Adedy and supported by anti-capitalist left front Antarsya on Thursday while parliament discussed the new memorandum is a step in that direction.
We call on all the forces of the left to actively support the struggles against this new attack and the government that applies it.
We call on all those active in the workers movement to draw their conclusions from what has happened and to join us in the struggle to overthrow capitalism—for a society where the workers themselves will have control over what they produce.