Category Archives: Greece

GREECE: Latest “Proposal” Documents reveal SYRIZA’s Betrayal of Greek Working Class

We republish here three documents previously published by the Financial Times of London which are purported to be the latest cowardly proposals by Alexis Tsipras and his pro-capitalist reformist SYRIZA party to their “partners” among the EU banksters who are attempting to strangle the Greek workers and force them to repay usurious loans made to the Greek capitalists during the economic boom of capitalism that inevitably, predictably came crashing down in 2008.

The first document is a touching letter from the new SYRIZA finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos to “Dear Jeroen” (meaning the President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem) currently salivating over the money Dijsselbloem and his friends will make after they force Greece to sell off their choicest seaports, airports and other valuable assets to the “partners” of SYRIZA among the EU banksters.

Letter_Tsakalotos-1

The second document is a letter from SYRIZA’s leading betrayer of the Greek working class and likely soon-to-be-deposed “Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic”, Alexis Tsipras:

TsiprasLetter_09-07-2015-1

Finally, we have the betrayal itself, which we have been predicting for the last year based on our Marxist analysis of the class orientation of the pro-capitalist, reformist SYRIZA party: an unprincipled multi-class popular front designed to betray the interests of the Greek working class from the very moment of its inception:

Prior-action-final-version-July-2015

We have just received these documents ourselves; we ill post analysis of them if possible as soon as possible.

– IWPCHI

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239th Anniversary of US Declaration of Independence: US Working Class Has Little to Celebrate

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA, like Glenview, IL - located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago - if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you have to cough up some dough, because the greedy capitalist class won't foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA – like Glenview, IL, located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago – if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you’d better dig deep into your own pockets, because the greedy capitalist class won’t foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Today on the Fourth of July we honor the revolutionary worker- and farmer- heroes of 1776 by honoring the revolutionary workers of 2015 who suffer in prison and exile for daring to fight for the rights of every working man and woman on this planet.

There are two kinds of workers in the world: wage-slaves and revolutionaries. In 2015, as in every era of human history, the mass of working people is composed of the wage-slaves, who sullenly bear their burdens like the downtrodden slaves they are, lashing out at anyone who tries to organize a slave rebellion and who slavishly place themselves at the service of their capitalist masters no matter how humiliating or savage the requests may be. Only at times of actual revolutionary struggle do these people attempt to finally cast off their chains and join in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the ruling class – and then only if the odds of success are heavily on the side of the revolutionaries. It has ever been thus and it will ever be this way. This article is addressed to the revolutionary-minded workers of the United States and throughout the world who hate the capitalist status quo and who will NOT be mindlessly waving the flag on this 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. They will be mindful of the vast and widening gulf that exists between the largely empty promises of 1776 and the current realities of a US government run by a greed-drunk capitalist class whose regime grows more and more monstrously oppressive with each passing hour.

The annual celebrations in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 are being conducted in their usual senseless manner this year – but with an ironic twist. The ruling capitalist class, which sees no point in spending their hard-stolen money on such frivolities as education for the nation’s children, has apparently lost interest even in providing the ‘bread and circuses’ they once deemed essential for the maintenance of class peace between the millions of exploited wage- and debt-slaves and their exploiters. Today the once sacred budget appropriations for celebrations of the 4th of July have been placed on the chopping block; if you want to have a big 4th of July fireworks display, forget it – there’s not enough tax revenue left in the coffers of our cities and towns to be able to afford such an extravagance – the capitalists’ hired politicians and their co-conspirators have stolen it all. Increasingly, workers – even in the more affluent towns like Glenview, IL are going around hat-in-hand begging the citizens to donate money if they want to see any fireworks on the nation’s birthday!

Parades roll on full of fresh-faced military “heroes” the most recently-minted of which have only achieved the destruction of several small and poorly-defended nation-states, having left nothing but corpses, chaos and hatred for the United States in their wake. Many of these young men and women will not be marching in today’s parades – because it is no longer possible for them to do so; they have been horribly maimed while fighting in US imperialism’s endless and unwinnable “War on Terror”(TM). Now they have a new fight ahead of them: the struggle to survive, to obtain the health care and family services they desperately need, and which a money-grubbing US government doles out to them with an eye-dropper – if they can “qualify” for any assistance at all. Once a soldier is no longer able to physically defend the overseas investments of the US capitalist class, the capitalists discard them like an old pair of army boots. Yet every major sporting event and every Fourth of July parade, every newscast you’ll see today and millions of fatuously “patriotic” advertisements include a bombastic and idiotic salute to the nation’s military “heroes” freshly returned from one-sided “battlefields” where the only sacrifices being made are on the side of those wantonly attacked by the United States Government.  Crowds of stupefied American wage-slaves cheer as these veterans are trotted out for the national photo ops all over the nation, and then sent back home to figure out how the hell they are going to find a job so they can keep a roof over the heads of their families.   Almost completely ignored are the tens of thousands of homeless US veterans  who will be out there panhandling at these very parades that pretend to honor them; for these homeless veterans of America’s many, many wars, these Fourth of July celebration’s of America’s hometown military heroes must seem like deliberate mockery.

Military jets fly over baseball parks from coast to coast, prompting “oohs and ahhs” from the throng of stupid American wage-slaves idiotically applauding machines designed to do nothing but blast human beings into tiny pieces – bought and paid for with the workers own hard-earned tax money. Meanwhile, our cities are mismanaged,  looted by the politician-hirelings of capital and driven into bankruptcy;

US citizens across the nation are being denied access to a basic human need – water –  because they can’t afford to pay the water bill; racist cops shoot down citizens for no reason and get away with it and the US president declares to the world that he has a “right” to order the assassination of anyone who he deems to be a “terrorist” – even if they are a U.S. citizen! Happy Fourth of July! Wave a flag, dummies!

Meanwhile, more and more of the actual heroes who have risked their lives and fortunes trying to expose the horrendous crimes being committed by an increasingly deranged US capitalist class and its hirelings are being framed up on bogus criminal charges, convicted – by juries composed of cowards who will never rise to the level of the women and men they are sitting in judgment of, and thrown into the notoriously overcrowded and violent hellhole prison system for years or even decades. Brave men and women like Jason and Jeremy Hammond and  Chelsea Manning languish in prison; courageous people like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks have their lives turned upside down for exposing the crimes and endless lies of the US Government; true working-class heroes like Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal have been brutalized, imprisoned and live under a sentence of death issued by the ruthless and bloodthirsty US capitalist class that seeks to destroy all who dare to oppose it. These are a mere handful of the cases we could cite; what about the millions like Tim Tyler who languish in US prisons, victims of the idiotic “War on Drugs”(TM)? And still tens of millions of US worker-slaves stand dumbly by waving their flags and doing nothing to stop these outrages! Wage-slaves who refuse to come to the defense of those who risk their lives in our behalf do not deserve to breathe the same air as these imprisoned and exiled worker-heroes!

Millions of US workers are unemployed – some for so long that they are no longer even being counted by the government as “unemployed” any more ; more than half of all US public school children live in poverty; the world’s largest prison population languishes in some of the most brutal prisons in the “civilized” world; immigrant workers are being brutalized in prison camps where small children are imprisoned along with their mothers

the children beg visiting US politicians – whose colleagues wrote the laws under which they are imprisoned – to help free them; US citizens – particularly those who “happen to be black” are being shot to death by the nation’s police on a daily basis and never prosecuted for their crimes; US politicians, in the wake of the latest racist atrocity – this time in Charleston, S.C. – proclaim to the world that their love for their “southern heritage” demands that the racist Confederate flag of the southern slavocracy should be flown proudly across the USA, inspiring more members of the deranged racist lunatic fringe of the United States to commit more atrocities – it is hard to understand what it is that we have reason to celebrate on this July 4, 2015.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl handed this drawing to a US Congressman inspecting a detention center housing "illegal" immigrant mothers and their children.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl named “Helen” handed this drawing to a US politician inspecting a detention center in California housing “illegal” immigrant mothers and their children. It reads: “I want to be free”. Source: ilw.com, “House Democrats Recap Trip to Family Detention Facilities”, 24 June 2015 (see link above)

It has been 239 years since this nation’s founders declared independence from Great Britain and launched their revolution to “free” the oppressed white, male property-owners of colonial America from their British overlords. It was indeed a bold move and inadvertently set in motion the global chain of events that would almost completely wipe out feudalism in the world within 100 years – a major step forward for the human race and one the revolutionary socialist movement has always honored. In 2015 it is easy to see that, then and now, that group of courageous yet fatally flawed bourgeois revolutionaries made promises they never intended to make good on for anyone but themselves and their friends. To celebrate their revolution 238 years after the fact takes no courage at all; and it requires that we ignore a mountain of evidence proving that the progressive aspects of the US capitalist class were discarded by the ancestors of those revolutionists more than a century ago. This generation of capitalists don’t even want to shell out money for the fireworks displays and parades held in honor of their own ancestors! It really is a sad spectacle for a revolutionary worker to behold!

The success of the “American Experiment” that has been celebrated every Fourth of July since 1776 – in spite of the fact that the “freedom” gained by the US Revolution was only really gained by a tiny minority of rich, white men – has long since lost its golden halo. The United States capitalist class hasn’t done anything “revolutionary” or hugely progressive since the Reconstruction period unless a gun was being held to its collective head in the form of an enraged and fighting working class that wasn’t going to take anything but “yes” for an answer. Immediately after the American Revolution, women, slaves and the rest of the toiling classes were all left essentially right where they were before the revolution began! Every political gain made by blacks, women and the working class since then was gained only after prolonged and bloody struggle against the cabal of rich, white men by and for whose sole benefit the revolution was fought. Every major social gain since Reconstruction has been made on the initiative of the working class itself – the ruling capitalist class has fought us tooth and nail and all along the line. The struggle for the 8-hour day; the right of women to vote; the right of unions to organize; the right to withhold our labor-power in order to win better wages and working conditions (the right to strike); civil rights for blacks and LBGT people were all opposed by the capitalist class and their political parties and cops and courts. Workers blood has been shed in every one of these struggles before the capitalist class finally gave in and grudgingly made the necessary concessions – and then only in order to prevent the workers impulse towards revolution from reaching the boiling point. The plans of the ruling capitalist class are well-laid and made with their long-term objectives always in mind. The entrenched bourgeoisie of the United States consists of those who made their family fortunes stealing land from the Native Americans and selling it to the immigrants streaming in from all over the globe; their wealth is hereditary and they have been part of the US ruling class in some cases since their ancestors landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620! They have a lot of experience in these matters and know full well that any concessions they make to the workers today can eventually be clawed back once the temperature of the working class eventually cools off – as it inevitably does unless kept red hot via the work of a revolutionary vanguard party.

The American Revolution of 1776 was not as wildly popular as we have been led to believe. Every flag-waving moron in the USA who defends the racist, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-worker status quo in the USA today wants you to believe that if he or she was alive in 1776, they’d not have hesitated to attack the status quo under British rule! It’s so easy for them to say now, isn’t it? Defense of the American Revolution in 2015 risks not a hair on the head of anyone wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes. But that was NOT the case in 1776. Then, to take up arms against the “legitimate forces of law and order” – the British – was an act of treason punishable by death! So only about a third of the workers and farmers of 1776 actually had the guts to take up arms and join the army of Washington. And he had a hell of a time keeping an army in the field because the war was so unpopular. At Valley Forge, as the Americans were unable to procure food or decent clothing or bedding for the revolutionary troops, the local farmers of Pennsylvania were smuggling cattle, and all kinds of foodstuffs and homemade goods – to the British in Philadelphia! Washington had to send out detachments of troops to intercept the steady stream of vitally needed food and other goods that were being sold by Americans to the British, who paid them in good English money instead of the worthless money issued by the Continental Congress! These flag-waving patriots who bellow their love for the revolutionaries of 1776 while threatening to murder worker-revolutionaries of 2015 are cowards who would have been waving the British flag in 1776 just as these shameless American neo-fascists wave the US flag now! Who are they kidding? If they are such valiant defenders of our “freedoms” why do they refuse to lift a finger or donate a penny to the defense of people like  Edward Snowden, whose “crime” in the eyes of the capitalist class – exposing the fact that the US’ National Security Agency is spying on every human being on the planet, including US citizens –  is no crime at all in the eyes of worker-revolutionaries? These people who wrap themselves in the flag today will NEVER fight for even the rights of their own children against their capitalist masters – they are too craven and cowardly to ever fight the “powers that be” – and if they were around back in 1776 you can be sure that, just as they do today, they would have taken up their position in defense of the strongest party – the British – and would have been counted among the Tories, hated by all the revolutionaries of the 1770s!

Historians tell us that the American Revolution was not wildly popular at all and that only about a third of the population in 1776 actually supported the Revolution in ways that mattered – in 1775-1781 – and even those weak numbers rose and fell parallel to the successes and failures of the revolutionary struggle. I has never been easy to take a stand against the powerful monied interests that rule over us – the work we do is not for the faint of heart or for the flag-waving coward! Those courageous women and men who took up arms to overthrow the British monarchy did so selflessly – and because they mistakenly believed that those ringing words, those freedom-promising principles announced to the world in the heroic language of the Declaration of Independence were meant for THEM and not just for the handful of rich white men leading the revolution. Like the confused women and men in the US military today, the worker-heroes of the American Revolution risked their lives and their meager fortunes in order to defend the glorious ideals that the government leaders pretended would be available to all should their side emerge victorious from the war. It was only after the revolution, when the American revolutionary leaders “forgot” to add a Bill of Rights to the US Constitution that the workers discovered with horror that they had been robbed of the fruits of the years of labor in the service of the Revolution. Then, as the new nascent capitalist masters proved to be every bit as arrogant and oppressive to the working class and yeomanry as the British had been, a new wave of revolutionary struggles broke out – first, Shays’ Rebellion, then the Whiskey Rebellion and, later, Fries’ Rebellion all reflected the anger of the workers and farmers of the new nation who felt that their rights were being trampled on by the new rulers of the young United States of America just as they had been by the British. Their working class aspirations were crushed by the infant US capitalist class and their leaders were hunted down like dogs, tried and hanged or imprisoned. And thus began the long struggle for worker rights under the then-emerging capitalist dictatorship that continues to this day.

At the top of the political and economic pyramid of the United States in 2015 sits a small cabal of primarily rich, white men whose ancestors, in many cases, led the Revolution and made their fortunes thereby. What a clever gang of lawyers those original founders were! Somehow they managed to lead a successful bourgeois revolution whose stated aim was to bring into existence a “free nation” dedicated to the principle “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – but which “somehow” ended up only creating “freedom” for less than a tenth of the population, while making chattel slavery the law of the land! Only a gang of very clever lawyers could pull off such a scam! All of us who were not born rich or white or male have been fighting for OUR freedom without cessation since 1776 and we still haven’t reached our goal! Our ancestors worked as slaves, as indentured servants as brutally exploited factory workers, fought in all the wars waged under the Stars and Stripes, yet we still must struggle to keep a roof over our heads while the tiny gang of rich white men live lives of unbelievable luxury – and every year on the 4th of July, all of us, worker and capitalist, rich and poor, are supposed to join hands and sing hosannas to the glorious revolution of 1776! A revolution our worker and farmer ancestors fought in over two hundred years ago and which millions of us to this day have have only barely been able to enjoy a fraction of the fruits of! It’s taken us two hundred years of constant class warfare to force our rich masters to bestow upon us third-rate rat-infested public housing housing, health care on the installment plan and food stamps. “Hooray for the Fourth of July!”

In Chicago, it was announced this week that yet another round of savage budget cuts will be made to the already vastly underfunded Chicago Public Schools. The filthy rich capitalist class has decided that it makes no sense to spend “their” money (which they stole from us) to educate our children whom they never intend to employ, ever! So every year they cut back on education – to them it’s nothing but a bad investment! “Where” – the dull-witted among us ask “is their patriotism?” The fact is that the only thing the capitalists pledge allegiance to is their bank accounts! All they care about is: “how much money is in my bank accounts?” and “is the pile growing or shrinking”? All that wealth was derived from the labor of workers somewhere – either in the United States or somewhere else in the world – and they have no intention of allocating any more of it than is absolutely necessary in order to make those piles of cash of theirs keep on growing. They couldn’t care less about the future of us, or our kids!

So where is the outrage of the working class of the United States? We would think that when the capitalists start attacking your CHILDREN you’d start paying attention and get off your fat asses and start fighting for your kids’ futures! Yet that is simply not happening. Apparently, American workers have become so fat, lazy, apathetic and cowardly that even when the capitalist class and their government attack your CHILDREN you just mumble “oh well, you can’t fight City Hall” and go to the fridge for another beer! What the hell is wrong with you? Your hard-earned money has been taken from you in the form of taxes and spent – not to educate your children or to make your lives and theirs better – it has been taken and used to create a vast war machine which has as its primary purpose the defense of the overseas investments of the tiny U.S. capitalist class! Your sons and daughters have been sent overseas to butcher your fellow workers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere; many of them have come back physically and/or mentally maimed, unable to function as complete human beings and lead normal lives. Your sons and daughters in the US military have left a trail of destruction of whole nations, where the conditions of life now are far worse than they were under the dictators whose regimes our children were sent to overthrow! By the work of your military “heroes” the name of “American” has become a sort of curse in the mouths of decent human beings all over the world! Cities, towns and villages lie in ruins – destroyed by your sons and daughters; parents have had to bury their infant children by the tens of thousands; other children have been left orphaned thanks to the work of the US military – and for what? For whose benefit? For the benefit of that tiny gang of greedheads on Wall St. whose investments around the world are threatened by any kind of opposition, whether it comes from the heads of competing nation-states or individual U.S. citizens!

What is there to celebrate? The working class of the United States has not ONE representative in the US Senate or House of Representatives! Not one! Each and every politician in the national government of BOTH political parties is owned and operated by that same tiny cabal of capitalists who run the banks, insurance, pharmaceutical, energy and telecommunications companies and the defense contractors who make the weapons being used by OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS to butcher our working-class sisters and brothers around the world! This is the true state of things in the “free” “democratic” United States of America on the 4th of July 2015!

The police forces of the United States – paid for, as everything else is paid for in this country, by taxes squeezed from the working class – seem to have been given orders to shoot to kill any worker who dares to stand up for her or his rights. Even little children are gunned down as if they were a nuisance animal by police forces that are looking more and more like occupying troops in a foreign country. The US citizens are their “enemy”! Hardly a day goes by without another disgusting murder of an unarmed citizen by a police officer somewhere in the USA. Black people, as usual, are their favorite “prey”. These racist cops in the US major cities are all being run by a political party that styles itself as “the party of labor”! Our so-called trade union “leaders” take our union dues and lavish it on this “party of labor” – the Democratic Party – telling us that we must go to the polls and vote for the Democrats because they are the “lesser of two evils” – as if the purpose of a modern “democracy” is to provide the working class with a choice between “firing squad” or “lethal injection”! And you are so stupid, dear brother and sister workers, that you actually BELIEVE this to be ‘the best of all possible worlds” and act as if you – all 300 million of you! – were “powerless to do anything” to change the way this country is run!

The fact of the matter is that the United States of America has always been a hellhole for black and minority workers, for immigrants and for the poor of all “races” from 1776 to today! And yet here you are, in 2015, with the Internet at your fingertips and cell phones in your pockets, cars in your driveways and credit cards in your hands, sitting around telling yourselves that you are powerless to do anything!

In order to fight racism we need to have a political party of by and for the working class that has as one of its fundamental principles the idea that racism must be driven out of existence permanently. We need a government that fights racism, not a government that defends it and uses it to divide and conquer us! In every capitalist country in the world we see racist capitalist governments attacking minority workers, scapegoating scapegoating immigrants for the joblessness created by the capitalist system itself to hold down wages; attacking striking workers and students protesting austerity programs imposed on them by the capitalists; using racist ideology to divide the working class against itself! This is not just happening in the United States! We must come to understand that it is the capitalist system itself and the capitalist class of the United States that are our enemies; not the Muslim or Mexican immigrants; not the Chinese or Indian workers but the greedy scumbags on Wall St. are the common enemy of the workers! This is not and will never be the program of the so-called “friends of labor”:Democratic Party, whose politicians are now going around defending “southern heritage” and the Confederate flag as merely expressions of the “free speech rights” of racist rats like Dylann Roof and his kind!   A workers government will not allow mentally ill people like Dylann Roof to walk the streets seeking people to attack; a workers government will FINISH THE CIVIL WAR by overthrowing the racist capitalist class of the United States and by throughly cleaning up every nest of Ku Klux Klan and Nazis we can find, so that never again will there be another atrocity like that which took place in Charleston, S.C. Under capitalism, these racists are protected and even given police badges and allowed to run police departments in our major cities! This will be IMPOSSIBLE under a workers government! The “free speech rights” of the Klan and nazis will be abolished under a workers government! The Democrats and the capitalist mouthpieces in the bourgeois press claim that if we smash the Nazis and Klan and outlaw their organizations and their “right” to spread racist lies we will somehow be destroying civilized society! This is just their back-door way of defending the racists whom they keep in reserve to attack the workers movement whenever we try to organize ourselves across racial lines. The Klan and Nazis are the attack dogs of the capitalist class – and the “friends of Labor” – the Democrats – use the code words of “southern heritage” and “free speech rights” to DEFEND the fascists like Dylann Roof. Under a workers government, people like Roof will be placed in insane asylums and taken out of circulation so they can’t poison the minds of any other young people.

The Democratic Party – Enemies of Labor

The Democrats put on a fine dog-and-pony show over the anti-worker “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) agreement, first pretending to vote against it in a fake “rebellion” “opposing” Obama and then turning around and passing it in a flurry of activity that took all the US union misleaders totally by surprise!  The AFL-CIO’s own website has still not recovered from their embarrassment to issue a statement on the vicious bitch-slapping they received from the Democrats on TPP!  But what can they say?

30 June 2015: Obama signs "Fast Track" into law, surrounded by his criminal co-cospirators and cracks "This is so much fun we should do it again!" Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

30 June 2015: Obama signs “Fast Track” into law surrounded by his criminal co-conspirators and cracks “This is so much fun, we should do it again!” Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

The Japan Times described the scene as “friend of labor” Obama was signing the “Fast Track” legislation surrounded by a joyful gang of capitalist criminals whose capitalist masters will undoubtedly reward them richly for this magnificent gift:

“As Obama signed the legislation, using a set of 20 commemorative pens set out for the ceremony, he remarked: “This is so much fun, we should do it again!”

Source: Reuters via the Japan Times, “Obama inks ‘fast-track’ trade bills but says tough talks lie ahead before TPP is reality”, 30 June 2015]

You have to stop believing the lies of the fake worker-leaders who tell you that the Democrats are the party of labor.  No “party of labor” would even attempt to pull off a robbery of the working class like the one the Democrats just committed on TPP. Expecting the Democratic Party politicians – who owe their seats in Congress to the rich people who financed their campaigns – to fight against the interests of the capitalists who own them is like expecting the small lampreys that live by attaching themselves to the bodies of enormous Whale Sharks to swallow the shark whole!  It ain’t gonna happen!  The working class needs its OWN party, its OWN political leaders who owe their positions only to the workers and owe the capitalists not one thin dime!  Until we have such a party, the working class of the United States will continue to see its standard of living decimated by the capitalists who are “running the tables” of the world unopposed with the help of the bribed officials at the AFL-CIO and their employees in the Democratic Party!

Another big lie that you must stop believing is that the rich people are sooo powerful and we workers are so weak! The opposite is true: the working class creates ALL the wealth in a capitalist country – and we make up the vast majority of the population! We have the power to shut down the US economy completely simply by refusing to work; our sons and daughters essentially run the US war machine as well!  A workers government would by its very nature be a really democratic government, a real case of “majority rule”. Right now the US Government is essentially owned and operated by a cabal of filthy rich capitalists who make up less than a tenth of the population; this isn’t a democracy, it’s an autocracy! Its the dictatorship of the capitalist class! The capitalist class owns and operates BOTH the Republican and the Democratic Parties. They pre-select who we will get to vote for by allocating their campaign donations only to those candidates who are most willing to carry out the orders of the capitalists. There is absolutely nothing democratic about how the presidential, senatorial or Congressional candidates are chosen: they must pass the test of the capitalist class first – only then will their campaigns be funded.

How do we get from here to there? First we must build ourselves a revolutionary workers party that refuses to take even a penny in funding from the capitalist class. A party completely funded by the workers and beholden only to the working class! The Democratic Party is entirely owned and operated by the capitalist class. Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, like all the others are EMPLOYEES of the capitalist class – these politicians go around begging for campaign donations from the capitalists who own this planet and they offer their services to the capitalists in exchange for those campaign donations. A revolutionary workers party would raise its funds from membership dues and donations from the workers who make up the vast majority of the population. The active working class in the US is about 170,000,000 strong! If only half of that number sent in a dollar a month, our party could run candidates in all 50 states in its first year! This is what we must do!

This means, sisters and brothers that until we create a revolutionary workers party that represents only the interests of the working class, THE CAPITALIST CLASS WILL CONTINUE TO WIN EVERY ELECTION as they have been doing since 1776!

Capitalism Must Die so that the Working Class May Live!  Break with the Democrats – Build a Revolutionary Workers Party to Fight for a Workers Government!

– IWPCHI

GREECE – SYRIZA to Greek Workers: “Referendum Just a Ploy for Better Bargaining Position with Our EU ‘Partners'”

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we take an oath to never lie to the workers of the US or the world, no matter how unpleasant the truth.  While many self-styled “revolutionary” socialist parties have praised SYRIZA  as being an authentic revolutionary socialist party, seeing all kinds of revolutionary potential in this thoroughly reformist and pro-capitalist political party, we have steadfastly exposed SYRIZA for what it is.  SYRIZA is leading the Greek working class into a political dead end, determined at all costs to stay in the European Union even if it means administering a brutal austerity programme against the Greek working class at the behest of the EU banksters.  SYRIZA’s pro-capitalist programme is the last, best hope of the disgusting, decrepit Greek capitalist class whose only loyalty is to their own bank accounts.

We don’t posses a crystal ball that enables us to see through the doubletalk of capitalist politicians of SYRIZA and other political formations like them; what we have is the Marxist dialectical method which enables us to analyze the class relationships that exist in every society which enables us to analyze what class is being served by the political party in question.  In the case of SYRIZA, a Marxist analysis of the public pronouncements of SYRIZA’s leader Alexis Tsipras suffices for us to see clearly that this party is absolutely NOT a revolutionary working class party but a pro-capitalist reformist political party.

Here again in two separate statements issued in the past few days Tsipras openly proclaims his allegiance to the capitalist class and its economic system and declares that no matter the outcome of the bogus referendum, he and the leaders of his party have no intention of leading Greece out of the Eurozone.  In fact he declares that the only reason SYRIZA has staged this referendum was to improve their bargaining position and to wrest some concessions from the EU bankers who want the Greeks to hand over their country and rob their citizens as collateral for more EU loans.

The only way out of the crisis that the capitalist class of Greece has brought upon themselves is workers socialist revolution.  A revolutionary socialist workers party would not endeavor, as SYRIZA has, to resuscitate Greek capitalism but would put it out of its misery, helping to give it a long-awaited funeral by repudiating the debt completely and organizing the seizure of power by the Greek working class.  SYRIZA will never do any such thing; and those fake-leftists who continue to sell SYRIZA to the working class as a bona-fide revolutionary party are liars who are betraying the workers and leading them into the abbatoir of austerity being prepared for the working class by the Greek and European capitalists.

Vote ‘No’ in the referendum – and dump SYRIZA, who are more interested in sucking up to their “partners” in the Troika than in making a partnership with the Greek working class!  There is no future for the working class under capitalism!

– IWPCHI

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SYRIZA: Two statements from Alexis Tsipras

1) Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ message

July 1, 2015

Greek citizens,

We are at a critical juncture regarding the future of this country.

Sunday’s referendum is not about whether our country will stay in the Eurozone.

This is a given and no one should question this.

On Sunday we will choose whether to accept the institutions’ agreement or whether, with the strength of the people’s verdict, we will seek a viable solution.

In any case, I want to reassure the Greek people of government’s firm intention to reach an agreement with its partners, with conditions that are sustainable and will provide for the long-term.

Since we announced our decision to hold a referendum, better proposals have been offered concerning the debt and its necessary restructuring than those that were on the table on Friday.

We did not ignore them. We immediately submitted our counterproposals asking for a viable solution, and for this reason an extraordinary Eurogroup meeting was convened yesterday, which will continue this afternoon.

Should there be a positive outcome, we will respond immediately. In any case, the Greek government remains willing to negotiate and will do so until an agreement is reached. The government will be at the negotiating table on Monday as well, immediately after the referendum, seeking better terms for the Greek people.

A popular verdict is always so much stronger than the will of a government alone. And I would like to reiterate that democratic choice is a core European tradition. During very important moments in European history, the people have made important decisions through referenda.

This happened in France, and in many other countries, concerning the referendum on the European constitution. This happened in Ireland, where the referendum temporarily voided the Treaty of Lisbon and led to a renegotiation, that resulted in better terms for Ireland. Unfortunately, in Greece’s case, we’ve been subjected to different standards.

Personally, I would have never expected that democratic Europe would not understand the need to give some space and time to a people to sovereignly make a choice about their future.

The prevalence of extreme conservative forces led to the decision to asphyxiate our country’s banks–with the obvious aim of blackmailing not just the government, but each each citizen individually.

It is unacceptable in a Europe of solidarity and mutual respect to have these disgraceful images:

For the banks to be closed, exactly because the government decided to give the people the opportunity to express their will;

And for thousands of elderly people to be deeply inconvenienced. However, the Greek government, despite the financial asphyxiation, took the appropriate measures and made sure that pensions were paid and deposited into the accounts.

We owe an explanation to these people who have been so inconvenienced:

We have been fighting all these months in order to protect your pensions.

To protect your right to a decent pension and not a miserly “tip”.

The proposals that they tried to blackmail us in order to accept demanded huge pension reductions.

And we refused to go along with this.

And this is why they are retaliating today.

The Greek government was given an ultimatum to implement exactly the same austerity measures, and all the outstanding aspects of the memorandum that had not been implemented.

And, in fact, without any provisions on the debt and financing.

This ultimatum was not accepted.

The self-evident alternative was to reach out to the people.

And this is what we have done.

I am well aware that during this period the sirens of destruction have been blaring.

They are trying to blackmail you as well, and ask that you vote YES on all the measures requested by the institutions, without any prospect of exiting the crisis.

They want you to side with those in Parliament who have repeatedly said YES to all the measures that have burdened the country.

To become one with them.

Complicit in perpetuating the memoranda.

It is important to understand, NO is not just a slogan.

NO is a decisive step towards a better deal that we aim to be signed immediately after Sunday’s result.

It constitutes the clear choice of the people concerning how their lives will be going forward.

NO does not mean breaking with Europe, but rather, returning to a Europe of values.

NO means: strong pressure for an economically viable agreement that will solve the debt issue, that will not increase the debt so that it continuously undermines our efforts to rebuild the Greek economy and society.

A socially just agreement that will allocate the burdens to those that can shoulder them, and not the workers and the pensioners.

An agreement that will allow the country, in a short period of time, to access the international financial markets, and thus end the supervision and guardianship.

An agreement containing reforms that will punish, once and for all, those who enable corruption and that have been fueling the political system all these years.

And at the same time, it will address the humanitarian crisis, create a comprehensive safety net for those who are marginalized–precisely because of the policies that have been implemented in our country for so many years.

Greek citizens,

I am fully aware of the difficulties.

I personally pledge that I will do everything possible so that these difficulties are temporary.

Some insist on linking the referendum’s result to the country staying in the euro.

They claim that I have a hidden agenda, if the NO vote prevails, to remove the country from the EU.

They are knowingly lying.

These are same people who used to say the very same thing in the past.

And they do a great disservice to the people and to Europe.

As you are aware, a year ago during the European elections, I was a candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission.

I stood before the Europeans then, just as now, and I argued that austerity policies must stop, that the memoranda will not lead to an end to the crisis.

That the program implemented in Greece failed.

That Europe must stop behaving in an undemocratic manner.

A few months later, in January 2015, the Greek people confirmed these sentiments.

Unfortunately, certain people in Europe refuse to understand this, refuse to admit this.

Those who want a Europe of authoritarianism that fails to respect democracy, those who wish for Europe to be a superficial union with the IMF being the “glue” that binds, are not visionaries for Europe.

They are timid politicians, unable to think as Europeans.

They stand side by side with those in our domestic political system, who are responsible for leading our country to bankruptcy, and that now have the gall to attempt to dump the burden on us–even as we’ve been trying to put an end to the country’s course of destruction.

They dream, indeed, of being restored to power.

This is what they’ve been hoping for—and still hope for, irrespective of whether we accepted the ultimatum–as they have blatantly sought an unelected Prime Minister who would implement it– or whether we gave our people the opportunity to express their will.

They talk of a coup. But democracy is not a coup. Unelected governments intent on manipulating circumstances—that is a coup.

Greek citizens,

I want to wholeheartedly thank you for the calmness and composure you’ve shown during every hour of this difficult week.

I want to assure you that this situation will not drag on.

It will be temporary.

Salaries and pensions will not be lost.

The deposits of citizens who did not withdraw their money or place it abroad will not be sacrificed on the altar of expediency and extortion.

I personally assume responsibility for reaching a solution immediately after the democratic process.

I urge you to strengthen this negotiating effort with your support, I invite you to say NO to the memorandum measures that are destroying Europe.

I invite you to respond positively to the prospect of a viable solution.

To turn a page, that calls for upholding democracy.

With the certain hope that we will reach a better deal.

We owe this to our parents, our children, ourselves.

It is our duty. We owe this to history.

Thank you.

[Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/07/01/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-message/ Retrieved 4 July 2015]

********************

2) Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ message

July 3, 2015

My fellow citizens,

The time for responsibility and democracy has arrived. The fear-mongering and threats of disaster must stop.

When a nation takes a stand on its future, it has nothing to fear.

Let us all go to the polls calmly, and let us make our choice based on the arguments–and not the slogans.

Yesterday an event of major political importance occurred. The International Monetary Fund released a report concerning the Greek economy.

The report is a great vindication for the Greek government; it confirms the obvious–that the Greek debt is unsustainable.

Per the IMF, the only way that the economy can recover and the debt be made sustainable is through a 30% haircut and a 20-year grace period.

The institutions never presented this report to the Greek government during the five months of the negotiation, during the five months that we have been negotiating.

It is also missing from the institutions’ final proposal that the Greek people will be approving or rejecting on Sunday.

The IMF’s report vindicates our choice to not accept a deal that ignores this integral issue, making the debt sustainable.

In short, the main driving force behind the memorandum has confirmed our assessment, the fact that the proposal we were given will not lead to a sustainable exit from the crisis.

We should all recognize this crucial fact.

On Sunday, what will be determined is not whether Greece remains in Europe.

What will be determined is whether, under duress and blackmail, we will accept the continuation of a policy that even its creators are now admitting has failed.

On Sunday, what will be determined is whether we will consent to the slow death of our economy and the impoverishment of our society.

If we will accept to further reduce pensions, so that an unsustainable debt will be repaid with the savings of the pensioners.

Or, if with determination, we will strengthen our negotiating resolve to achieve an agreement that will finally put an end to the destruction of the last five years.

My fellow citizens,

With the polls opening shortly, I urge you to act with civility and to respect opposing views, so that we may present a united front in the negotiation. For our common tomorrow, our common future.

No matter what we vote on Sunday, there will be nothing to divide us on Monday.

Nobody is disputing the country’s membership in Europe. Voting “NO” to an unsustainable agreement does not mean a break with Europe.

It means continuing the negotiation with better conditions for the Greek people. Therefore, I urge you to say “NO” to ultimatums, to blackmail, to fear.

But I urge you to say “NO” to being divided, as well.

NO to those who are trying to incite panic and prevent you from deciding with composure and responsibly for your own future.

I urge you to decide in favor of democracy and dignity.

For a proud Greece that will remain standing in a Europe of democracy and solidarity.

[Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/07/03/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-message-2/  Retrieved 4 July 2015]

 

Communist Party of Greece (KKE): Voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Means Same Thing – ‘Yes’

We republish below an official statement of the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE) denouncing SYRIZA’s bogus referendum scam.  They correctly point out that, in fact, no matter whether Greek workers vote “yes” or “no” in the referendum on the EU’s austerity programme July 5, it will mean the same thing: “Yes”.  That’s because, says KKE, a vote “against” the EU’s austerity proposals will essentially mean a “yes” vote for SYRIZA’s own austerity proposals – which the KKE asserts are “90% identical”!  And they are right about that.  Take a look at the “secret” counterproposal SYRIZA offered up to – and rejected by – the Troika which was leaked to the Financial Times earlier this month.

SYRIZA proposals for restructuring of debt May 2015

These proposals of SYRIZA incorporate almost all of the demands of the Troika, offering up not only the most profitable national assets – sea- and airports – but also the lives of the Greek workers themselves in the form of a gradual raising of the retirement age and other cuts to pensions and what remains of the crumbling Greek capitalist state’s social safety net.

The KKE is a Stalinist party of the Third International which – almost alone among the Stalinist Communist parties of Europe – still defends the USSR and has undergone an incomplete self-criticism of its own counterrevolutionary role as the Greek branch of the Soviet Union’s international “peaceful coexistence with capitalism” betrayal of the working class.  The KKE is a very large ostensibly revolutionary party whose membership boasts some of the finest revolutionary socialist workers of the Greek working class of today; in the Greek legislative election of 25 January 2015 the KKE polled over 338,000 votes, making it the fifth-largest political party in the Greek Parliament.   Unlike the SYRIZA party, inside the Stalinist KKE there still exist actual proletarian revolutionaries with a desire to overthrow the Greek capitalist class and lead a workers socialist revolution.  But in order to do that,the KKE must make a clean break with its appallingly class-collaborationist Stalinist past and embrace revolutionary Trotskyism – which is asking a lot from a party whose leadership consists of dyed-in-the-wool apologists for Stalin – the butcher of Lenin’s revolutionary Communist Party leadership – and millions of Soviet workers and peasants.  The anti-Marxist Stalinist concept that “communism” can be built in a single nation-state must be jettisoned in favor of Trotskyist internationalism.  At the very least, the KKE must jettison every deeply ingrained impulse towards seeking rapprochement with the capitalists of the world – and their demands in the face of the referendum indicate that the KKE is not yet ready to do that:

“The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER”

[Source: Communist Party of Greece, “The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE” (no date)]

Although the KKE states earlier in this same article that “the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity […] is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER”, their “demands” specifically do NOT call for the preparation for a seizure of power by the working class.  And the formula “workers’ – people’s power” implies a “two-class” power-sharing arrangement, not a revolutionary socialist workers government led by the proletariat.

If we had comrades in Greece today, we would seek to sound out the KKE on these questions in an effort to form a “united front” with them and all other revolutionary parties in Greece – especially, of course, the other Trotskyist parties – who seek – at least on paper and in their public pronouncements – to resolve the current crisis of Greek capitalism in favor of the working class permanently through workers socialist revolution.  The vital necessity of close co-operation of all the revolutionary left socialist and anarchist groups is highlighted by the ominous growth and boldness of the fascist “Golden Dawn” party, which polled 50,000 MORE votes this year than the KKE.  It is crucially important that the Greek workers join together in a united front to smash the Golden Dawn scum whenever they rear their heads.  The failure to do so in Germany in the 1930s – a failure caused by the reactionary twists and turns of the Stalinist misleaders of the COMINTERN – paved the way for the rise of Hitler, the crushing of the German Communist Party and the ensuing mass slaughter of World War II.  This, too, is a historical fact which the Stalinist KKE has yet to come to terms with.

Workers socialist revolution is truly the “only way out” for the Greek working class – and all the rest of the workers of the capitalist world as well.  There is simply NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER CAPITALISM!  Capitalism must be overthrown so that the working class may live – it’s really just that simple.  We offer our support (extremely modest as it is) to our working class sisters and brothers in Greece who are organizing the workers to prepare for the seizure of power from the hands of the murderous, morally, politically and financially bankrupt Greek, EU and US capitalist classes.

For workers revolution in Greece and throughout the EU, the Americas and the entire capitalist world! Workers of the World, Unite!

– IWPCHI

**************

[Source: The-referendum-on-the-5th-of-July-and-the-stance-of-the-KKE, retrieved 30 June 2015]

The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE

As is well-known, the government of the “left” and in essence social-democratic SYRIZA party and of the “rightwing” nationalist party ANEL, in an attempt to manage the complete bankruptcy of its pre-election commitments, announced a referendum for the 5th July 2015, with the only question being whether the citizens agree or not with the proposed agreement, which had been tabled by the EU, IMF and ECB and concerns the continuation of the anti-people measures for a way out from the capitalist crisis, with Greece remaining in the euro.

 

The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections.

 

Fascist Golden Dawn, together with the parties of the coalition government (SYRIZA-ANEL), took a position in favour of a “no” and it also openly supported the return to a national currency.

 

On the other side, the rightwing opposition ND, social-democratic PASOK that governed until January 2015, together with POTAMI (in form a party of the centre, in essence a reactionary party) took a position in favour of a “yes” to the barbaric measures of the Troika, which they state will be interpreted as being consent to “staying in the EU at all costs”.

 

In reality, both answers lead to a yes to the “EU” and capitalist barbarity.

 

During the session of the parliament on the 27/6, the governmental majority of SYRIZA-ANEL rejected the proposal of the KKE that the following issues be placed before to the judgment of the Greek people in the referendum:

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSALS FOR AGREEMENT OF THE EU-ECB-IMF AND THE GREEK GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU-ABOLITION OF THE MEMORANDA AND ALL THE APPLICATION LAWS

 

With this stance, the government demonstrated that it wants to blackmail the people into approving its proposal to the troika, which is the other side of the same coin. That is to say, it is asking the Greek people to consent to its anti-people plans and to burden them with its new anti-people choices, either via a new allegedly “improved” agreement with the imperialist organizations, or via an exit from the euro and a return to a national currency, something which the people will be called on to pay for again.

 

In these conditions, the KKE calls on the people to utilize the referendum as an opportunity to strengthen the opposition to the EU, to strengthen the struggle for the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity. The content of this way out is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER.

 

The people, through their activity and their choice in the referendum, must respond to the deception of the false question posed by the government and reject the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB and also the proposal of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Both contain barbaric anti-people measures, which will be added to the memoranda and application laws of the previous ND-PASOK governments. Both serve the interests of capital and capitalist profits.

 

The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER

[END OF DOCUMENT – IWPCHI]

 

SYRIZA: European Capitalists, Not Greek and European Workers, Have the Power to Determine the Way Forward

Today we publish English translations of the latest statements of Alexis Tsipras, head of the reformist, pro-capitalist ruling party SYRIZA regarding the crisis in Greece precipitated by the latest failure of the capitalist system to achieve economic stability.  Instead of leading the Greek working class on the difficult road of overthrowing the capitalist system in Greece and launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, Tsipras and the SYRIZA tops seek to pressure the Eurocapitalist banker-thieves to honor “Europe’s democratic traditions” – whatever that is supposed to mean.  This is what “European democratic traditions” look like today – highway robbery!

Tell us more about this “European democratic tradition” you speak of, O! oracle!:

“The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

“This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.” [Source: Alexis Tsipras at http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/]

That’s clear enough, isn’t it? By their heroes shall ye know them!

“For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.  I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request. They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.” [Our emphasis – IWPCHI.  Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/]

That is a lie: the Greek working class has the power to immediately reverse the Eurogroup’s decision – by launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, repudiating the debt and calling on their fellow workers throughout the world to follow their example!  But this is a course that SYRIZA will not take, because they are not revolutionaries – they are reformist, pro-capitalist politicians who, instead of leading the workers on the road to socialist revolution, are attempting to rescue the morally and economically bankrupt Greek and European capitalist classes and their decrepit, tottering capitalist system.  The means that they seek to employ in the short term: a bogus national referendum on July 5 that will be an attempt to acquire political cover for SYRIZA’s next parliamentary maneuver towards this end.

Unwilling to continue defending Greece from the predatory Eurozone banker-swindlers who seek to seize Greek seaports, airports, and squeeze more concessions and profits from the already suffering Greek workers SYRIZA will (after their EU “partners” – which is what SYRIZA calls those who seek to rob Greece blind: “our partners”! – and their news media spread horror stories for a week threatening an economic catastrophe for the Greek workers)… only after a week of this naked economic terrorism being launched against them 24/7 – ask the Greek people” what THEY want to do!

“Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.  My proposal was unanimously accepted.” [Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/]  They’re looking for the exits!  This is not the act of a revolutionary socialist leadership but of scared bourgeois politicians who are losing their nerve and looking to buy themselves more time – to figure out what to do next – because they have no idea where they are going!

The referendum SYRIZA seeks to present to the Greek workers – after 7 days of constant EU and ECB threats of all economic hell breaking loose if the Greek workers vote against the EU’s austerity programme – is a truly fine piece of bourgeois political fuckery (please excuse our French).  See if you can make heads or tails out of this:

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt sustainability Analysis’.”

Got that?  This is the question being posed to the Greek working class by SYRIZA – while SYRIZA’s capitalist “partners” at the European Central Bank (ECB) through their media holdings throughout Europe threaten to destroy the Greek economy if the Greek workers dare to vote “no”!

We’d like to ask SYRIZA: what, exactly, is your plan of action should the Greek workers do as you pretend to urge them to do by voting “no” on this referendum?  Because if they vote “no”, you can be certain that the ECB, IMF and the rest of your “partners” are going to do all they can to punish the Greek workers for their “impertinence”!  They will try, as the US bankers did to Chile in the ’70s, to “make the Greek economy scream” – and will seek to topple the SYRIZA party by any means necessary.  In Greece, the means are already at hand: the Greek Generals will once again be bribed and groomed by the CIA and THEIR EU “partners” to declare a state of emergency, suspend the Greek Constitution and arrest all the leaders of SYRIZA, the Communist Party of Greece and all the most militant trade union leaders, and we will see a new Golden Dawn government installed in Greece while the Greek capitalist class and SYRIZA’s erstwhile Eurozone “partners” “restore order” in Greece!

Tsipras tells the Greek workers: “I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.”  These are not the words of a revolutionary working class leader but of a cringing bourgeois politician preparing his alibi to be used to beg for mercy from his Eurobanker “partners” if the referendum should “go against” the wishes of the ECB, IMF and the rest of the capitalist vultures hovering over the Greek countryside!

If you need to convince yourself whether or not Tsipras is a follower of Adam Smith or Marx, listen to whose ghost he summons at this crucial moment for the workers of Greece:

“Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself.”

That’s not Eugene Debs’s ghost he’s channeling but that of US imperialist President Franklin Delano Roosevelt!  That’s yet another olive branch being laid at the feet of Barack Obama, whose favor SYRIZA vainly sought to curry in the runup to the last series of phony “negotiations” with the Eurothieves.  Obama took the bouquet of roses offered him by Tsipras and threw it on the floor at the G7 meeting, telling Tsipras that is was “time for the Greeks to make some hard choices”.  Incredibly, even now Tsipras is sending boxes of candy to the White House in order to get Obama to put pressure on the EU to come to terms with SYRIZA!  Fat chance!

“‘What it’s going to require is Greece being serious about making some important reforms, not only to satisfy creditors, but also to create a platform where the Greek economy can start growing again,’ Mr Obama said at a post-summit news conference. ‘The Greeks are going to have to follow through and make some tough political choices that are going to be good in the long term.'”

[SOURCE: Financial Times, “Obama says time for Tsipras to make ‘tough choices’”, 8 June 2015]

Once again we say that the only “solution” to the Greek debt crisis is to put an end to the decrepit capitalist system that is responsible for driving the Greek working class into the blind alley it now finds itself in.  The debt should be repudiated; the Greek generals should all be arrested and jailed and the workers of Greece should be armed and prepared to seize power in the next few weeks or months.

But this would take a revolutionary socialist leadership with a revolutionary programme dedicated to the defense of the rights and interests of the working class – not a gang of lawyers for the capitalist class.  SYRIZA is not such a revolutionary party and can not be expected to lead such a struggle.

What they can be expected to do is to distance themselves from any revolutionary parties that WOULD lead such a struggle; to unleash the cops on those parties the moment they take to the streets in protest against SYRIZA’s referendum-swindle.  SYRIZA’s cops can be expected to be unleashed against the revolutionary socialist worker-militants who oppose SYRIZA’s class-collaborationist strategy, thinly veiled as “principled” opposition to the austerity program being imposed by SYRIZA’s EU “partners”!

We warn the rank and file membership of SYRIZA: your leaders, by proposing this bogus referendum are demonstrating their complete unwillingness and incapacity to lead the Greek working class through the current crisis.  You must carefully analyse every statement made by your leaders and ask yourself: do you consider the EU banker -thieves to be the “partners” of the Greek working class? What will the SYRIZA leadership do in the event of a “no” vote? A “yes” vote will be essentially a vote of “no confidence” in the present government and will precipitate calls for new national elections.  Why did SYRIZA’s leadership place itself in jeopardy of facing such an “no confidence” vote just when it had been given the leadership role by the workers of Greece on 25 January?  Why this desire among the SYRIZA leadership not to lead, but to abdicate responsibility precisely at the moment of greatest danger?  Without revolutionary leadership there can be no revolutionary struggle and consequently no revolutionary victory of the workers!

For workers socialist revolution in Greece! No to austerity; dump the capitalist system and fight for a workers socialist government!

– IWPCHI

*******************

The first statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenryon 27 June 2015 and can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/

Greek citizens,

For the last six months, the Greek government has been waging a battle under conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, in order to implement your mandate, that of January 25th.

The mandate to negotiate with our partners to bring about an end austerity, and for prosperity and social justice to return to our country once more.

For a sustainable agreement that will respect democracy, as well as European rules, and which will lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

During the negotiations, we were repeatedly asked to implement memoranda policies agreed to by the previous governments, despite the fact that the memoranda were unequivocally condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

We never considered giving in—not even for a moment. Of betraying your trust.

Following five months of tough negotiations, our partners submitted a proposal-ultimatum at the Eurogroup meeting, taking aim at Greek democracy and the Greek people.

An ultimatum that contravenes Europe’s founding principles and values. The values of our common European project.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal that will add new unbearable weight to the shoulders of the Greek people, and that will undermine the recovery of the Greek economy and society–not only by fueling uncertainty, but also by further exacerbating social inequalities.

The institutions’ proposal includes measures that will further deregulate the labor market, pension cuts, and further reductions in public sector wages–as well as an increase in VAT on food, restaurants and tourism, while eliminating the tax breaks of the Greek islands.

These proposals–which directly violate the European social acquis and the fundamental rights to work, equality and dignity–prove that certain partners and members of the institutions are not interested in reaching a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties, but rather the humiliation of the Greek people.

These proposals mainly illustrate the IMF’s insistence on harsh and punitive austerity measures. Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.

Greek citizens,

We are facing a historic responsibility to not let the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people be in vain, and to strengthen democracy and our national sovereignty—and this responsibility weighs upon us.

Our responsibility for our country’s future.

This responsibility obliges us to respond to the ultimatum based on the sovereign will of the Greek people.

Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.

My proposal was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify the Cabinet’s proposal for a referendum to take place next Sunday, on July 5th. The question on the ballot will be whether the institutions’ proposal should be accepted or rejected.

I have already informed the French President, the German Chancellor, and the ECB’s president of my decision, while tomorrow I will ask for a short extension of the program -in writing- from the leaders of the EU and the institutions, so that the Greek people can decide free of pressure and blackmail, as stipulated by our country’s Constitution and Europe’s democratic tradition.

Greek citizens,

I call on you to decide –with sovereignty and dignity as Greek history demands–whether we should accept the extortionate ultimatum that calls for strict and humiliating austerity without end, and without the prospect of ever standing on our own two feet, socially and financially.

We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy–calmly and decisively.

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.

And I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.

I am absolutely confident that your choice will honor our country’s history and will send a message of dignity worldwide.

In these critical times, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of all of its peoples.

That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is, and will remain, an integral part of Europe, and Europe an integral part of Greece.

But a Europe without democracy will be a Europe without an identity and without a compass.

I call on all of you to act with national unity and composure, and to make a worthy decision.

For us, for our future generations, for Greek history.

For our country’s sovereignty and dignity.

[END OF FIRST STATEMENT – IWPCHI]

***************

The next statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenry via a television address on June 28.  Our source can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/

Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the program to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institutions’ ultimatum constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.

A high and sacred right: the expression of opinion.

The Eurogroup’s decision prompted the ECB to not increase liquidity to Greek banks, and forced the Bank of Greece to recommend that banks remain closed, as well as restrictive measures on withdrawals.

It is clear that the objective of the Eurogroup’s and ECB’s decisions is to attempt to blackmail the will of the Greek people and to hinder democratic processes, namely holding the referendum.

They will not succeed.

These decisions will only serve to bring about the very opposite result.

They will further strengthen the resolve of the Greek people to reject the unacceptable memorandum proposals and the institutions’ ultimatums.

One thing remains certain: the refusal of an extension of a few short days, and the attempt to cancel a purely democratic process is an insult and a great disgrace to Europe’s democratic traditions.

For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request.

They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.

What is needed in the coming days is composure and patience. The bank deposits in the Greek banks are entirely secure.

This holds true for the payment of wages and pensions, as well. We will deal with any difficulties with calmness and determination.

The more calmly we confront difficulties, the sooner we will overcome them and the milder their consequences will be.

Today, we have the chance to prove to ourselves–and indeed, to the world–that justice can prevail.

Once again, we have a historic opportunity to send a message of hope and dignity to Europe and the world.

In these critical hours, as we face history together, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

We will not allow it to overcome us.

We will succeed.

The dignity of the Greek people in the face of blackmail and injustice will send a message of hope and pride to all of Europe.

[END – IWPCHI]

******************

The third statement is also by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and was delivered to the Greek Parliament on 28 June 2015.  It can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Today’s meeting has historical significance. I could take time to answer the Leader of the Opposition, but I don’t think it makes any sense to do so—given the important historical nature of the issue before us. A petty confrontation would serve no purpose. There isn’t a single Greek citizen who’s not familiar with your [the Opposition’s] actions and their consequences, your motivation to leave office–and had you remained, the measures you would of signed for: totaling not eight, but sixteen billion euro in cuts, based on the primary surpluses that had been determined by the institutions, at 3% and 4.5%.

But going into detail serves no purpose. Right now, we are making history. Right now, we must assume our responsibilities, and be straightforward and honest. What purpose will yet another parliamentary confrontation serve, well past midnight now, a fact that you bear responsibility for since you insisted that the President not be present during your speech?

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

This day will be remembered as a bleak day in history, a bleak day in our common European, as some who are outside of and beyond any institutional process, outside of and beyond common regulations and treaties of the European Union, chose to convene the Council of Finance Ministers of the Eurozone and exclude one member. This is a very unfortunate development. Our country is a full member, and was excluded from a key process—something that no one has the right to do.

This will be a black mark on European history—a day when one of the Finance Ministers was excluded from a European Council meeting, and the right of a sovereign people to democratically decide their future was called into question.

And what was the main message of the Finance Ministers–with the exception of course, of a few who adopted a different stance? The message was that they do not allow any breathing room for democracy. The Greek people must, therefore, respond with unity.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

In the birthplace of democracy, we will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s or Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to allow the Greek people to voice their opinion! We will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s and Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to protect and safeguard democracy. The referendum, which allows the sovereign Greek people to decide on their future, will take place as scheduled next Sunday, whether our partners agree or not.

The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.

The expression of the people’s will through the use of referendums is not a new phenomenon in Europe. Referendums took place in several countries on the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon and the European Constitution. So, why is a Greek referendum eliciting such a reaction?

Did anyone attempt to sway French citizens when they were deciding on a fundamental European Union issue – what can be more fundamental than the actual European Constitution, which they voted against – against holding a referendum? Did anyone attempt to dictate what the referendum’s question would be? Did anyone tell them that if they voted “No” on the European Constitution, they would essentially be voting in favor of their withdrawal from the European Union? So, why are some people today so afraid of the verdict of the Greek people, and why are they trying to use blackmail to prevent a referendum? They should consider that blackmail sometimes has the exact opposite effect. And I say this, because some people think that the issue of Greece is a game.

The dignity of a people, however, is not a game, ladies and gentlemen, a people that have been pillaged for five years now by unjust and brutal austerity programs. One and a half million unemployed, three million poor, thousands of padlocks, unemployment, young people leaving the country en masse. These circumstances did not come about during the last five months of intense and real negotiation. These occurred during the past five years of the Memorandum, which imposed harsh austerity – a tragedy that must finally be ended. With the verdict of the Greek people on January 25th, and with new verdict of the Greek people this coming Sunday, the stifling policies of the Memoranda must end once and for all.

We should be aware, however, that the greater the extent of the upheaval, of the reactions, or the blackmail, the greater the problem which cannot be hidden, or neatly explained away by the other side.

Perhaps they believe that by employing threats and blackmail, and by trying to create panic, that they will bend the will of a people seeking to live in dignity. They are making a big mistake. Greece cannot turn back, because our people want to live in dignity. What is the value that the credit rating agencies assign to the dignity of a people? How much do they think it’s worth? What is the going price for the dignity of a people on the stock market? With how many instalments, to repay unbearable and unsustainable debts, can one meet this price?

Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself. And I bring this up because already an incredible propaganda campaign of fear was launched–just last night–that will only escalate in the coming days, as Sunday approaches.

But they should know that sometimes, when the attempts to terrorize are so blatant, the end result is often the opposite of what was desired. People stand their ground. The Greek people – the previous generations – have gone through great difficulties, much worse than today’s. In the course of our modern history, our people have persevered: the Greek people know how to defy fear and resist it. We are a nation that loves peace. But when war is declared on us, we know how to fight and we know how to win.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

For five months, from our first days in office, we have been waging a tough and sincere fight on behalf of our people and our country, to end austerity and change Eurozone policy. We negotiated despite conditions of unprecedented extortion and financial asphyxiation, in order to implement the mandate that we were given.

Despite these conditions, every citizen of this country knows just how hard Greece has tried during these months, and that the Greek Government has made an honest and real effort to negotiate with determination, with dignity.

From day one, we have remained unwavering on the principle of mutual respect as first stipulated in February – if I remember correctly – by the French Minister of Finance, Michel Sapin. Respect for the verdict of the Greek people for change, and respect as well, for the common rules that unite us in the Eurozone. This was our guiding principle.

We negotiated with our cards on the table and with the desire for sincere cooperation, seeking a fair compromise, i.e. to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with our partners. I want to assure you that during these months, I personally did everything I could to attain this. At the end of the day, however, unfortunately, the extreme voices among the partners and the institutions prevailed.

Despite the fact that there were sincere intentions for an agreement – this was especially the case with Mr. Juncker – there was also insistence on the condition that the agreement be approved by the IMF, something that was quite unlikely since the Fund had stopped disbursements for a year. Since the summer of 2014, the IMF has not disbursed funds for the Greek program, because it knows that there is no prospect of the stability and sustainability of the debt.

The stubborn persistence that the IMF be part of the decision, especially since it is obvious to almost everyone that it will not make further disbursements, was a condition that limited, and indeed suffocated, any chance of an honest compromise. I trust that you are all aware that we exhausted the limits on all of our concessions in order to reach an agreement. Perhaps some people perceived this as a sign of weakness or as an opportunity to shrink our political credibility. As an opportunity to seek revenge and punish a different voice within Europe, to make an example of us to other countries so that they would not resist: to create a fait accompli, that there is no breathing room, that there isn’t the slightest expectation or hope for change in Europe and in the Eurozone where hardline conservatives dominate.

You may even remember that even at the last moment – the last moment! – in an effort to reach an agreement, we submitted equivalent measures to the exceedingly high demands of our creditors – exceedingly high demands compared to our assessment concerning the existing fiscal gap for 2015 and 2016 – with the difference being that we chose to allocate the burdens based on criteria of social justice to those who can shoulder them, and not to those who have been shouldering them for the last five years and cannot take it anymore.

Due mainly to the IMF’s insistence, we were asked to remove or mitigate our proposals on the taxation of wealth. We were asked to eliminate the imposition of a special supplementary contribution on business profits over 500,000 euros, and to increase the rate of taxation of corporate bodies by 3%. We were also asked to restore the employers’ contributions to their previous level of 2.9%, which was in place eighteen months ago.

The IMF’s concern is that “non-recessionary” measures be put in place. This is all the more ironic considering that the IMF officially admitted just a few years ago, that they had made a mistake on the multipliers of the recession, a mistake that has condemned our economy to recession for five years now—all in the name of non-recessionary measures. If we ask the wealthiest to shoulder the burden, the IMF believes we will have recessionary measures. However, if we burden pensions and wages, however, we won’t have recessionary measures; if we increase VAT, we won’t have recessionary measures. So, to indulge this obsession of theirs, the IMF asked us to once again have the pensioners shoulder the burden, and that we should decrease pensions–even the allowance for the lowest pensions. Furthermore, they made it clear that they were not interested in additional revenue resulting from controlling illegal wealth, and that they would not include this in their macroeconomic scenarios.

They also asked us to voluntarily opt out of the EU acquis of collective bargaining, which is enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and to keep the minimum wage in the private sector at the current, near-poverty levels. They asked us to legislate collective redundancies and employer lock out, conditions that the Troika itself had agreed to exclude from pension reform in 2013.

And while we had agreed to start reforming the pension system in October, the IMF demanded that the reduction in the main and supplementary pensions take place earlier, in order to predetermine the content of the reform. The IMF also demanded a dramatic increase of VAT on tourism, i.e. hotels and catering, from 6.5% to 23%. The IMF’s insistence raises a number of legitimate questions: Whose agenda are they serving? What special interests are they representing? Whose interests are served by condemning the most powerful, competitive advantage of our country internationally—tourism—to sudden death? This is akin to issuing a travel guideline advising tourists to not come to our country.

Furthermore, the IMF did not provide anything more concrete on the issue of the debt, aside from the usual vague promises made to previous governments, that the debt would be dealt with at some point. In addition, they provided an extremely tight schedule of financing, whereas according to the decision of February 20th, the completion of the current evaluation on June 30th automatically results in the disbursement of the last outstanding installment of 7.2 billion euro. By extending the current agreement until December 2015, four monthly evaluations were added.

In short, the IMF told us that they would dispense liquidity drop by drop and under tight supervision, while at the same time they would retain the right to unilaterally decide in October whether or not to disburse the instalments of 3.5 billion euro that have been due since 2014. In other words, they were not asking us to agree. They were asking us to hand over our political dignity. They were asking us to once again attack employees and pensioners. They were asking us to sign another Memorandum with harsh terms that would lead to further recession, and the slow death of the Greek economy.

We did not accept. We refused. This was not a matter of compromise. We refused to hand over our country so that it could serve as a new economic colony to foreign interests, and our economy to a new recessionary blackout.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Now is not the time for petty arguments between the parties, although I understand that perhaps our stance has surprised you. You were certain that we would surrender. Despite the obvious contradiction, you’ve been saying that we’ll lead the country to destruction if we don’t sign an agreement, but if we do sign, then we’ll be condemning the country to another memorandum. You’ve stated this repeatedly. You were certain that we would cave. There may even be a little envy deep inside some of you because we did what you didn’t dare to do–even though you might have wanted to: to resist!

But now is not the time to fight. We must create conditions of accord, for the widest social and political consensus to defend Democracy and the right of a people to be rid of austerity after five consecutive years. The entire political leadership of the country must, above all, protect the right of our people to be the masters of their decisions and to determine the course of the country. The day following the democratic choice, and a proud ‘No’ to subjugation and to indignity, our country will have a much stronger negotiating position, and it will be the moment of truth for the creditors. They will finally understand that Greece is not going to surrender, that Greece is not a game that is over.

Our intention for a truly honest compromise and for a truly sustainable agreement will permanently remain on the table, but there needs to be sincere desire to negotiate in good faith, not just to engage in blackmail. The wider the social and political consensus of our people who will express their opinion sovereignly as required by the rules of democracy and the stronger the will of our people is, the stronger the country’s position will be in international affairs. Only then will it be possible to achieve an agreement that allows for strong growth, the restoration of social justice and cohesion, and country’s productive reconstruction.

I want to make it absolutely clear that our decision that the Greek people express their will sovereignly is in no way a decision to break with Europe. It is a decision to put an end to extortion and coercion, practices that have become all too common in Europe. It is a decision to return to Europe’s founding values, of respect for the European acquis, a decision to return to the Europe of principles and democracy. And it’s a decision of dignity against practices of raw economic blackmail.

I hear a lot of people saying, both in this room and among hardliners in Berlin, that Europe represents the harsh memoranda, that Europe is equivalent to the constant subjugation to austerity, austerity without a future. Should we accept this? Shouldn’t this be disputed? We have an enormous responsibility both to our people and to all the citizens of Europe who saw the political change in Greece with great hope, hope for the necessary change and transformation of Europe.

If we do not challenge this doctrine now, then we are putting an end to hope. We are putting an end to hope for the necessary transformation of Europe. The peoples’ vision comes to an end, as well as our vision for a Europe of solidarity and social cohesion. We would have to accept, to admit that we have, and will have, a Europe of punishment, a Europe of blackmail, a Europe of ultimatums that its people will not love, but will remain by compulsion and not by choice.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

I am confident that the Greek people will rise to the historical occasion and will reject the ultimatum. In past instances, when an ultimatum was presented to the Greek people, they responded accordingly. It will send a message of democracy and dignity throughout Europe. Because a ‘No’ is at the same time a big “yes”; a big ‘yes’ to the Greek Government’s decision to reject an offensive ultimatum.

It offends not only the Greek people, but also the democratic tradition of Europe, the principles and values ​​of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution. It offends the post-war democratic tradition, whereby the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats – not the Left, as it wasn’t in power – cooperated to help build the European welfare state, which until yesterday, this European welfare state was a global standard and a feature of Europe’s political diversity. It is these principles and values that ​​we are defending: democracy, equality, solidarity, mutual respect, human dignity and social rights.

We are defending – and will continue to do so at any cost – the right of every European citizen to choose their governments, to make crucial strategic choices concerning their future, to choose their governments regardless of whether they are liked by the bureaucratic elites that unfortunately rule Europe today and have led it to these impasses. For this reason, I ask of the Parliament now to approve yesterday’s Cabinet decision to hold a referendum on Sunday, July 5th, while assuring the Greek people once again that this government will not betray their expectations, it will not kill their hope.

And I am confident that everyone, both inside and outside the country, will respect the democratic right of a people to assume responsibility and decide for themselves on the critical issue before them. I say this, because I have the feeling that many would like to do everything in their power to prevent this option. Some have characterized this inherently democratic process as “coup”. The choice to uphold democracy…a coup! Some have even called for the President of the Republic himself to violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations. Those of you who are appealing to the President of the Republic, what exactly are you requesting? A request that is also a dangerous civic choice? Are you asking that the President of the Republic violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations?

In these critical times we all need to assume our responsibilities. And when the responsibilities are heavy, strong shoulders are required to bear them. Courage is required. Bravery is required. Virtue is required. Patriotism is required. And I assure you that the current President of the Republic has all of the above.

Irrespective of everyone’s political beliefs, all of us will be called upon to fight the battle for democracy, dignity and hope. We pledge that from Monday 6th July, with the strength of the popular verdict, we will continue our efforts.

And of course – perhaps I do not need to repeat this – all of us remain absolutely committed to democracy. The results of the democratic choice of our people will be respected, whatever their choice may be. But I want to make this clear: Any attempt for this referendum to be converted from a referendum to reject the new Memorandum to a referendum on the country’s currency serves to undermine the democratic process itself, and reveals the hidden and underlying aspirations of the Memorandum supporters.

This is exactly what the most extreme and conservative memorandum forces want—those who are mainly outside the country, as well as those who blindly repeat their views here. I want to reiterate that it is neither the intention nor the decision of the government or of the Greek people to equate the memorandum with our country’s membership in the European Union.

Greece is neither a visitor nor a guest in the European project. We are equals among equals. No one has the right, not even institutionally according to the European Treaties that we all signed, to show us the to the door to exit from our common home. We do not intend to concede this right to anyone for any reason whatsoever.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

The political change and the popular mandate of January 25th actually provided Europe with an opportunity to change course. Let’s not give up on this. It provided the Troika with an opportunity to transform, to become institutions that will respect the democratic acquis. They did not embrace this. They chose to remain the Troika, which kills democracy in Europe.

The crucial choice of the Greek people today concerns the future of Europe, as well as the future of Greece. I am certain that the Greek people will not be distracted by threats, blackmail, scaremongering, and provocations, and that next Sunday, they will choose bravely, with courage and virtue–exactly how they define the conditions of their freedom. They will seize this moment in history and will send a strong message across Europe, a strong message of dignity worldwide.

In these hours, Europe is looking to Greece. It is awaiting the “No” vote that upholds the dignity of the Greek people, and we have a strong responsibility to not disappoint these hopes.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say that the Parliament today must support sovereign choice regarding a democratic process. For every citizen of this country, this is a choice to move forward. We have no right to go backwards. We have no right to disappoint the hopes and expectations of the Greek people that our country not be condemned to being a debt colony for decades to come.

We do not have the right, with our choice and our signature, to put an end to democracy in this region, where democracy has been alive for 2,500 years. We do not have the right to afford the opportunity to technocratic institutions, to organizations with no accountability and that have not been elected by European citizens, to prohibit a sovereign people from having the sovereign right to determine the affairs of its territory and future.

The choice lies with all of us, and it is mainly a choice of hope, dignity and democracy. We owe it to our children, we owe it to the future generations, we owe to the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people so that this country can be sovereign, its people free, so that it can be a country with democracy, popular sovereignty and pride.

We are accountable to those proud struggles, to history, to the future, to the future of our people who deserve to live with a prospect, with hope.

Be well.

 

GREECE: New Democracy “Wins” Greek Election; SYRIZA Takes 2nd; Golden Dawn holds position at 18 seats

Greek Ministry of the Interior – Election Results

In a very close and widely dreaded election held on Sunday, the “conservative” New Democracy party “won” the Greek elections, and will now have the unenviable responsibility of forming a new coalition government in order to shove the austerity program demanded by the Greek and International bankers down the throats of the Greek working class.

The “official” vote tally kept by the Greek Ministry of the Interior declared New Democracy to be the winner with 29.66% of the total vote and 129 seats in Parliament; the SYRIZA coalition came in 2nd with 26.89% and 71 seats; PASOK came in 3rd, with 12.28% and 33 seats; the fascist “Golden Dawn” party maintained the same number of seats (18) it had won in the earlier election, coming in 5th, with 6.92% of the vote.

“Today the Greek people expressed their will to stay anchored within the euro, remain an integral part of the eurozone, honor the country’s commitments and foster growth. This is a victory for all Europe,” Samaras said. “I call on all parties that share those objectives to form a stable new government.” [Source: CNN NewSource, “Greek New Democracy hails ‘victory for all Europe’ “]

Samaras’ obscene assertion that the Greek people, who have been heavily propagandized to the effect that a vote against the austerity programme would mean economic suicide for Greece, by voting for his party, have granted New Democracy a “mandate” for robbing the Greek workers blind, is borne out by the nearly equal number of voters who voted for SYRIZA, who ostensibly opposed the identical policy.

New Democracy came in 1st in 40 of the 55 electoral districts voting, splitting with SYRIZA the districts in Athens and Piraeus, two of Greece’s 3 largest cities.

(To be continued)

SYRIZA Head Tsipras: “Lest there be any doubt… Syriza is committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.”

URGENT:  GREEK WORKERS:  A VOTE FOR SYRIZA IS A VOTE FOR THE CONTINUATION OF DECREPIT CAPITALIST CLASS RULE IN GREECE!  THE Independent Workers party of Chicago calls upon all of our working-class brothers and sisters in Greece to withhold their vote – do not vote for the class-collaborationist SYRIZA coalition!

Well, the leader of the SYRIZA coalition in Greece isn’t hiding his class-collaborationist light under a barrel.  In a letter to one of the world’s most prominent pro-capitalist business newspapers, the Financial Times of London, Alex Tsipras announced to the world’s bourgeoisie that he intends to be a loyal member of “Team Capitalism”, stating baldly:

“Lest there be any doubt, my movement – Syriza – is committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.”

This fulsome expression of loyalty to the defense of the decrepit capitalist system in Greece shows clearly that voting for SYRIZA is a trap for Greek workers.  The Independent Workers Party says:  NO VOTE FOR SYRIZA!  Capitalism must be overthrown by the Greek working class and replaced by a workers government.  That is the only way out of the blind alley Greece finds itself in right now.

In the United States, the Trotskyist Spartacist League, US section of the International Communist League has called upon Greek workers to vote for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), since they are the only revolutionary party in Greece that opposes the Eurozone and everything it stands for.  However, the treacherous opportunism of the Stalinist KKE gives us in the IWP reason to oppose this call by the ICL for support to the Communist Party of Greece.  The KKE has betrayed the working class of Greece far too many times to be trusted in such an important time as this – a pre-revolutionary situation exists in Greece.  This is not the time to seek short-cuts to power; this is the time for real Leninist-Trotskyists to stand up and make a bold, principled stand upon a revolutionary program to lead the working class to power!  This is a time when a revolutionary party, no matter how small, can, by taking a principled stand on behalf of the working class, win thousands of disaffected workers to its banner!  We call on the Trotskyist ICL and their Greek section to present their own slate of candidates as a pole of working class opposition to the pro-capitalist program of SYRIZA and its coalition member parties as well as the KKE’s decades of betrayal of the Greek working class.

Most importantly to us, the KKE’s incredible inability to understand that the police are the enemies of the working class – described so well in the ICL’s own press! – is proof enough that the KKE must not be held up to the working class as some kind of revolutionary Leninist party!

Also, the KKE’s treacherous policy in regard to the fascists of “Golden Dawn” poses a real and present danger to the Greek working class.  The KKE’s repulsive attempt to make nice with the members of “Golden Dawn” – as if they were merely exhibiting political backwardness – shows that the KKE is far from possessing a revolutionary party leadership in the mold of the Bolsheviki!  Trotsky’s formula for dealing with the fascists: “Acquaint their heads with the pavement!” is the watchword of the hour in Greece.  The IWPCHI calls on the Greek working class to immediately form “Workers Militias” to defend immigrant workers from attacks by the “Golden Dawn” fascists, as well as for these workers militias to go on the offensive at the earliest opportunity to crush the fascist threat “in the egg”!  There is no time to lose in this regard; the KKE is marching in the other direction!

IWPCHI

Read Tsipras’ Financial Times essay here (Synaspismos English-language website):

Tsipras: “I will keep Greece in the Eurozone and restore growth”

(to be continued)

GREECE – A Survey of English-language Resources from SYRIZA Coalition Party Websites

In the run-up to the Greek national elections to be held this Sunday, we present to our readers a selection of available English-language articles taken from the websites of the left-wing coalition parties that make up the SYRIZA coalition in Greece.

We do not endorse any of these parties, nor do we call on our working class brothers and sisters in Greece to vote for SYRIZA.  We believe that the aim of the SYRIZA coalition is to create a “responsible left alternative” to the “traditional” parties administering Greek capitalism.  This “left alternative” SYRIZA coalition would, from all indications we can see,  try to create a form of left-wing “capitalism with a human face”, while attempting to maintain the position of Greece within the Eurozone.  SYRIZA’s leadership has repeatedly stated that they intend to “keep the Euro” but to dump the austerity programme being demanded by Greek and international bankers.  “Keeping the Euro” means “keeping the capitalist system”.  We are completely opposed to this.  Unless the Greek workers take power for themselves and depose the Greek and foreign capitalists who are trying to strangle the working class – and abolish the capitalist system itself – the Greek working class will face a long period of protracted economic crisis.  Only through the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a Greek working class government, directing a democratically planned economy can the Greek workers hope to provide jobs, food, housing and education for every single Greek worker.  If they stick with capitalism, then the economic crisis will certainly get worse, with the Greek capitalist class, angered at the workers for tampering with their profit margins, unleashing reprisals against the workers unions and political parties.  The public meetings being held between the “mainstream” capitalist political operatives of Greece and the fascists in “Golden Dawn” represent the threat that if the Greek bourgeoisie cannot make the Greek workers sit down and shut up, then the bourgeoisie will turn to the fascists to crush the workers movement in the same savage way that their fellow capitalists did it in Germany in the 1930s.  The Greek working class must dump their class-collaborationist leaders and go forward on the road to workers revolution: organize workers militias to defend the workers from fascist attacks; then go on the offensive and physically crush the fascist scum in Golden Dawn and prepare to overthrow capitalism and take power into the hands of the working class.

We have used the list of SYRIZA coalition members presented by the SYRIZA website as our guide to the coalition parties’ own websites; you can find a Wikipedia article on SYRIZA here:

Wikipedia: “Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)”

IWPCHI

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SYRIZA Website (In Greek)

COALITION OF THE RADICAL LEFT (SYRIZA): (No English-language website available)

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[Introductory text is largely taken from the Wikipedia entries for each party – IWPCHI]

ACTIVE  CITIZENS: (No English-language website available) Founded in 2002.   “Its most prominent delegate is Manolis Glezos, former member of the Hellenic Parliament.”  Glezos (born in 1922) is a much-admired man and a veteran of the resistance against both the fascist occupation of Greece in the 1940s and participated in the Greek Civil War that took place at the end of World War II.  He was tortured by the Nazis; imprisoned by the Italian fascists; sentenced to death three times by the Greek neo-fascist government after WWII and because of his lifetime of struggle against oppression is held in very high regard by the Greek working class.

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Anticapitalist Political Group (In Greek)

ANTICAPITALIST POLITICAL GROUP (ΑΠΟ): Wikipedia characterizes this party as a Trotskyist party, i.e., followers of Russian Revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, leader of the Left Opposition against Stalin.

Their English-language website is here:

Anticapitalist Political Group (English)

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KOE Website (In Greek)

COMMUNIST ORGANIZATION OF GREECE (KOE): “Is a left-wing Greek political party of Maoist origins that was founded in 2003. The KOE’s ideology is revolutionary Marxism, supporting Marxist ideology with all the historical experience of the communist movement.”  Originated in the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE); after a series of splits and/or realignments (1956, 1964, 1984) reached its present political form.  Publishes articles from contributors including American political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in its newspaper, “Drómos tis Aristerás” (Road of the Left) in collaboration with the “Movement for the United in Action Left” or KEDA party, which is also a member of the SYRIZA coalition.

The KOE, for all their typical convoluted Maoist mumbo-jumbo pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric, is clearly a reformist organization – their presence in SYRIZA – since 2007- is proof of this.   Fortunately, thanks to the KOE’s “internationalism”, we also have very own words as evidence:  “The ‘Greek peculiarity’ concerns first and foremost the emergence of a people’s movement that gets political characteristics: A movement that is connected with the Left and constitutes a Red Wedge in the ‘soft underbelly’ of Europe. All policies and all practices should now lead to the strengthening, and maturing of this progressive people’s bloc.” [Emphasis added by IWPCHI.  “Progressive people’s bloc”, of course, refers to the pro-Euro reformist SYRIZA coalition.  Quoted from “Greece: a field of conflict and of international balances’ redeployment” by Rudi Rinaldi 26 May, 2012, KOE website.]

An English-language version of the KOE website can be found here:

KOE International

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DIKKI Website (In Greek)

DEMOCRATIC SOCIAL MOVEMENT (DIKKI): (No English-language website); “a Greek democratic socialist political party. The party was founded in 1995 by Dimitris Tsovolas and several ex-members of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), the then ruling social-democratic party.”  Possibly a left split from the PASOK (or maybe an attempt to broaden PASOK’s representation in Parliament by creating a fake “left” group that could ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by preventing votes from going to more radical left groups and if elected provide votes for PASOK policies in Parliament.)

The party essentially took itself to court when their founder, Tsovolas, tried to sell DIKKI’s assets to the Greek state!  The court sided with DIKKI against Tsovolas.

DIKKI has pretended to make love to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) (and the KKE even started looking at apartments), only to leave the KKE crying at the altar when DIKKI decided in 2007 to form a coalition with SYRIZA instead.

DIKKI seems to be some kind of cynical fake-left “party” set up by PASOK to wreak havoc among the “radical left” organizations seeking seats in Parliament.

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Ecosocialists of Greece (In Greek)

ECOSOCIALISTS OF GREECE: (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).  They have a Greek website; unfortunately no English translations are available.

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International Workers’ Left – DEA (In Greek)

INTERNATIONALIST WORKERS LEFT (DEA): (No English-language website); “is a revolutionary marxist [sic] organization in Greece, founded in 2001, having split from Socialist Workers’ Party-International Socialist Tendency (SEK-IST). It is particularly active in the Greek Social Forum and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). It maintains a sisterhood relationship with the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the United States. Through the ISO, DEA has developed connections with Socialist Alternative (Australia) and Movement for Socialism (Switzerland).”  Again, the fact that they call themselves ‘revolutionary Marxists’ does not make them revolutionary; and their presence in the reformist, pro-EU coalition SYRIZA proves this.

It is, of course interesting to see that they are allied with the reformist, anti-communist, fake-Trotskyist International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the United States.  [BTW: those aren’t gratuitous slanders; they are precise, descriptive adjectives. For a real working class party, like the one we wish to build, clarity is incredibly important.  We must never lie to the working class, no matter how unpleasant the truth may be.  There are brave and decent workers in all of these groups; it is the political program of their leaders that we criticize. – IWPCHI]

DEA has participated in the SYRIZA coalition since 2004.  Wikipedia provides the following translation, from DEA’s website, that explains the DEA’s party principles:

“DEA fights for:
“Socialism through the independent action of the working class

“Workers create all the wealth within capitalism. A new society relieved from exploitation – socialism – can only be built when workers collectively take control of the social wealth and plan production and distribution according to human needs.
“Revolution and not reformism

“Capitalism can’t be fixed. It must be overthrown through workers’ action. There is no parliamentary road for such a change. The parliament, the army, the police, justice, the entire bourgeoisie state functions in order to protect the interests of the ruling class. The working class will need its own state, based on direct democracy, on the councils of delegates from the working places, as well as on the workers’ militia.
“Internationalism and not “socialism in one country” or “socialism with national colours”

“The experience of Russia proves that even a victorious socialist revolution, like the 1917 October, cannot survive in isolation. The regimes of USSR, after the establishment of Stalinism, as well as the regimes of China and the rest of the Eastern Countries were or continue to be state capitalisms, where the exploitation and repression of the working class is no different from the West. This is why we support all workers’ insurrections against the bureaucratic ruling class of these countries.

“We also support all national liberation movements that resist imperialist oppression. The power that will totally smash imperialism is the unity of the working class on an international scale, from New York to Seoul and from London to São Paulo.

“We oppose all forms of chauvinism, racism or sexist discrimination that threatens to divide the workers. Against the anti-Turkish warmongering of “our” ruling class, we support the slogan “Greeks and Turks workers united”. We oppose the oppression of the minorities in Thrace and Macedonia and the measures that restrain immigrants.
“Revolutionary Party of the most militant workers

“The working class can liberate itself and all the oppressed through its own action. In order to convince all the parts of the class to join this fight it is necessary for the most determined and militant parts to organize in a revolutionary socialist workers party. Such a party can persuade the workers for the revolutionary perspective, by intervening in the mass struggle. We oppose every perception of substitution of the class, wherever it comes from.”

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MOVEMENT FOR THE UNITED IN ACTION LEFT (KEDA): (No website); “KEDA was formed in the early 2000s, by a splinter group of major party officials of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), most prominently Yiannis Theonas (former MEP for KKE) and Mitsos Kostopoulos (ex-president of the parliamentary group of the KKE and ex-secretary general of the General Confederation of Greek Workers). However, Kostopoulos, left KEDA in May 2007.”

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Radical Left Group ROZA (In Greek)

RADICAL LEFT GROUP ROZA: (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article);  The “ROZA” in this group’s name refers to the great Polish-born communist leader of the German working class Rosa Luxemburg.

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Radicals (In Greek)

RADICALS (Ριζοσπάστες): (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).

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RED (In Greek)

RED: (Κόκκινο):  (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).  Wikipedia calls this a communist, Trotskyist group.

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Renewing Communist Ecological Left (In Greek)

RENEWING COMMUNIST ECOLOGICAL LEFT (AKOA):  (No English-language website).  “AKOA “was formed mostly by members of the late eurocommunist-influenced KKE Interior.”  In other words, this is another spinoff from the Communist Party of Greece.  Wikipedia describes them as “democratic socialis[t], eurocommunis[t], green politics.  In the 2000 parliamentary elections the AKOA supported Synaspismos. Since 2004, the AKOA has been part of the Coalition of the Radical Left.  She [sic] has the status of observer in the European Left Party.  The party is affiliated with the weekly newspaper Epohi.”

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Synaspismos (In Greek)

SYNASPISMOS (SYN):  English-language website is here:

Synaspismos (English)

From the Wikipedia article: “SYN is the largest party of a left-wing coalition formed in 2004 called Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).  The Coalition of Left Movements and Ecology (Greek: Συνασπισμός της Αριστεράς των Κινημάτων και της Οικολογίας, Synaspismós tīs Aristerás tōn Kinīmátōn kai tīs Oikologías) is a Greek political party of the radical new left. It is commonly known simply as Synaspismos (Greek: Συνασπισμός, Synaspismós, “Coalition”) and abbreviated to SYN (ΣΥΝ). Until 2003, it was called the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Greek: Συνασπισμός της Αριστεράς και της Προόδου, Synaspismós tīs Aristerás kai tīs Proódou).

“Synaspismos emerged initially as an electoral coalition at the late 1980s, with the two Greek Communist Parties (the pro-Soviet Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Greek Left, the successor to the eurocommunist Communist Party of Greece (Interior)) as its largest constituents. The disintegration of USSR brought the Left into disunion, and the traditional majority within KKE purged all non-hardliners from the party – almost 45% of the Central Committee members, including ex-general secretary Grigoris Farakos, and majorities in many Local Committees (named by the KKE majority as revisionists and by the press as the renewers), and also split from the coalition.”

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Unitary Movement (In Greek)

UNITARY MOVEMENT (Ενωτική Κίνηση):  (No English-language website.)

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The remaining members of the SYRIZA coalition are described by Wikipedia as “several independent leftist activists”, for whom no Wikipedia articles or website addresses are given; the SYRIZA website, so far as we can tell, not being able to read Greek, gives no website addresses for these folks either.

[If any of our readers can provide us with English-language websites for of any of these parties, please send along the information either by commenting at the end of this article or via email at iwpchi@rocketmail.com]

IWPCHI