Tag 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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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

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

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

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[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]

 

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)

Psst! Hey buddy… wanna buy the Greek Ministry of Culture… or Athens International Airport… cheap?

Just when you think you’ve seen every sleazy rip-off the capitalist class can engineer, something comes along that makes you drop your jaw in awe and wonder at the bald-faced depravity of the bourgeoisie.  They are amazing! Don’t make jokes around these people about how they’d sell their mother for a bag of silver coins… they’ll hire you as a consultant to show them how to do it and get away with it.

The capitalist ruling class of Greece – a craven gang of thieving greedheads utterly incapable of managing a hot dog stand in Chicago without screwing it up, who have successfully shown their mastery of the rules of the capitalist “game” by bankrupting their country, have driven it into debt in such a way that the only way they can see to get out of the mess they made is to – sell their own country off to the highest bidder, right out from under the feet of the Greek working class!

In today’s “Wall St. Journal”, we saw an interesting article entitled “Greece Places Sale Plan in Holding Pattern – Privatization Program Stalls, but Investors Still Covet Prime Former Airport Property in Athens; the Biggest ‘Showpiece'”

The WSJ article is about the Greek Government’s scheme to pay off its debts to the big European banks by selling off the “juiciest assets” they pretend they have a right to sell – including an airport, huge tracts of land on various Greek islands, and even buildings like the Athens Central Police Headquarters building and the Ministry of Culture – and how right now, Greece is so politically unstable the prospective “developers” of these “assets” are getting cold feet and heading to the sidelines.  The thieves don’t want to take a chance on losing their “investments” if the political winds should shift away from this barely legal robbery toward socialism.

You really must check out this Greek government website: [http://www.hradf.com/en] .  To see the scale of the ripoff being planned by these scumbags is absolutely breathtaking!  No wonder the Greek working class is out in the streets battling the riot police over the austerity programme… we only get to read about the tip of this foul pile of capitalist manure – they have to deal with this crap being shoved in their faces every day!

If there ever was a case for workers revolution, it exists today in Greece.  Is there a political party of the working class capable of leading a workers revolution in Greece?  We shall see, and, perhaps, very soon.

This wholesale robbery of the Greek working class has been given a name… get ready for it… are you sitting down?  Good!  It’s called… the “Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund”!  Can you believe the chutzpah of these jackoffs?

I kid you not… the subtitle of the website is actually: “Putting the Greek Economy Back in Motion”!!!  Wow! Oh, yeah, they’re “putting the Greek economy in motion” all right… like John Holmes put Amber Lynn “in motion”!

Wanna buy an actual Olympic Broadcasting Center?  They just built it a couple of years ago for their massively money-losing Olympic Games.  How about an airport?  Or how about one of these other publicly-owned properties:

Yes, you too can now own the Greek Ministry of Culture building!  With a current tenant who’ll guarantee payment of rent… well, maybe not.

“But wait… there’s more!”

Hey, buddy!  How about some infrastructure?  Wouldja like ta buy some infrastructure?  How about:

  • OSE (Hellenic Railways Organization): Railway Operator (TRAINOSE SA), , Maintenance of Rolling Stock & Railroad Equipment (ROSCO)
  • Athens International Airport
  • Regional Airports
  • 4 aircrafts type Airbus 340 – 300,
  • Egnatia Odos Motorway,
  • the Hellenic Motorways SA (recipient of toll revenues paid to the HR)
  • the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP SA)
  • Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYATH SA)
  • 12 ports as companies of limited liability
  • Small ports and marinas
  • Greek Power Corporation (DEI)
  • Natural Gas Storage “South Kavala”
  • Mobile Telephony Licences (Frequency Spectrum (900-1800MHz)

Lookit those highways!  Turn ’em into tollways, baby, you’ve got a cash cow that’ll never stop givin’!

Howzabout a national railroad?  Everybody loves trains, right? Or a gas storage facility? Cmon, buddy, you’ll never get another opportunity like dis again!

“And, if you act now, you’ll receive, as an added bonus…!”

Oh, I almost forgot to tell ya… howzabout corporate real estate?  Uh huh, I knew it!  You wanted corporate real estate all the time, didn’t ya?  I knows my customahs!  Lissen ta this:

“The Hellenic Republic’s extensive corporate asset portfolio includes assets from sectors such as gaming, banking, heavy industry and energy. These assets are in the process of being transferred to HRADF for privatization.

“The aforementioned assets include part or all of the Greek state’s share in the following corporations:

    • State Lottery Tickets
    • Public Gas Corporation SA (DEPA)
    • Hellenic Football Prognostication Organisation SA (OPAP)
    • Hellenic Horse Racing Company SA (ODIE)
    • Hellenic Defence Systems SA (EAS)
    • Hellenic Petroleum SA (HELPE)
    • Hellenic Post (ELTA)
    • Hellenic Casino of Parnitha (HCP)
    • Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA (ELVO)
    • LARCO”

Now whaddya say, pal?  Are we ready ta deal or are we ready ta deal?  What?  You wanna wait until the election’s over ta see who’s gonna run tha country?  Come, on, bud!  You think these gems are gonna be lyin’ around heah forevah?  It’s a cash-and-carry business, Mac!

Wait!  Don’t leave!  You like girls?  I can get you the most beyootiful girls in the… oh, you like boys?  We got them too!  Tanned and taut, terrific!  Hey meet me outside the Greek Parliament building at midnight and we’ll make a deal.  I’ll throw in me own mudda fer nuthin’ – she’s a great cook…!

IWPCHI

GREECE – Fascist would-be Fuehrer from ‘Golden Dawn’ Party Attacks Leftists – Smash Fascism!

Those on the “left” who think that Fascism can be defeated through intellectual debate can obtain for themselves a very graphic example of why this is a utopian concept courtesy of one Ilias Kasidiaris, a legislator in the Greek Parliament and member of the definitely fascist “Golden Dawn” party.

In a brazen attack on two female Greek parliamentarians from two working-class parties, this fascist cretin, tiring of the mental strain of having to think and politely respond to questions and challenges from his socialist and Communist Party interlocutors, rose from his seat and continued the “debate” in the way the fascists prefer: by physically assaulting the two women – on live, national television, no less!

[http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/07/us-greece-assault-idUSBRE8560P520120607]

The fascist scum from “Golden Dawn” who usually carry out their “debates” on the question of immigration by forming gangs and going into towns and city centers and physically assaulting anyone who “looks foreign” need to be put down like the rabid dogs they are.  The very existence of fascist political parties is a standing lethal threat to the workers movement and all decent human beings.  We call on our brothers and sisters in the Greek workers movement to unite and go out and give these “Golden Dawn” scum a golden shower!  “Acquaint their heads with the pavement!” Fascism must be crushed in the egg, or it threatens to annihilate the workers movement – physically.

The great Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky, who gave his life leading the heroic struggle against the rise of the Stalinist bureaucracy from 1927 – 1940, understood well the true nature of Fascism.  Writing in the 1930s, before the rise of Hitler and his Brownshirts, Trotsky warned the German working class of the danger that would result if the German workers organizations – unions, and both major rival “left” parties of the working class, the Social Democrats and the Communist Party, did not join forces to smash the fascist threat while it was still “in the egg”.  The failure of the two largest workers parties to make a political bloc against the Nazis – primarily due to the Stalinized Communist Party of Germany’s refusal to do so – led directly to the rise of Hitler and the physical destruction of the revolutionary workers movement in Germany.

Marx was quoted, famously, as saying: “all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice… the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”  Today we see the tragic events of 1933 in Germany restaged, with an all-Greek cast:  the Greek so-called “left”, represented by the left coalition Syriza movement, plays the role of the class-collaborationist German Social Democrats; the “ultraleft” leadership of the Stalinist German Communist Party of 1933 is portrayed, convincingly, by the “ultraleft” Stalinist leadership of today’s Greek Communist Party.   Von Hindenburg, the senile “grand old man” representative of the equally senile German bourgeoisie of ’33, is portrayed by his modern counterpart in Greece, 83-year-old Karolos Papoulias.  Papoulias, representing the utterly discredited and ready-for-the-dustbin-of-history Greek bourgeoisie of 2012, held an ominous meeting on May 13 with the head of the would-be-Hitlerite “Golden Dawn” Fuehrer Nikolaos Mihaloliakos.  This meeting, eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s tete-a-tete with Hindenburg just before Hindenburg made Hitler Chancellor in 1933, is the politically (and in every other way as well) bankrupt Greek bourgeoisie’s way of preparing the way for a fascist/military coup in the event that the working class gets the upper hand over the capitalist class in the near term.

Replace the word “France” with “Greece” – or any other capitalist country you’d like, including the U.S. – in this excerpt from a 1934 article by Trotsky and see if it rings a bell apropos of today’s political situation:

“Of course, in France, as in certain other […] countries […], there still exist parliaments, elections, democratic liberties, or their remnants. But in all these countries, the same historic laws operate, the laws of capitalist decline. If the means of production remain in the hands of a small number of capitalists, there is no way out for society. It is condemned to go from crisis to crisis, from need to misery, from bad to worse. In the various countries, the decrepitude and disintegration of capitalism are expressed in diverse forms and at unequal rhythms. But the basic features of the process are the same everywhere. The bourgeoisie is leading its society to complete bankruptcy. It is capable of assuring the people neither bread nor peace. This is precisely why it cannot any longer tolerate the democratic order. It is forced to smash the workers and peasants by the use of physical violence. The discontent of the workers and peasants, however, cannot be brought to an end by the police alone. Moreover, if it often impossible to make the army march against the people. It begins by disintegrating and ends with the passage of a large section of the soldiers over to the people’s side. That is why finance capital is obliged to create special armed bands, trained to fight the workers just as certain breeds of dog are trained to hunt game. The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery.

“The fascists find their human material mainly in the petty bourgeoisie. The latter has been entirely ruined by big capital. There is no way out for it in the present social order, but it knows of no other. Its dissatisfaction, indignation, and despair are diverted by the fascists away from big capital and against the workers. It may be said that fascism is the act of placing the petty bourgeoisie at the disposal of its most bitter enemies. In this way, big capital ruins the middle classes and then, with the help of hired fascist demagogues, incites the despairing petty bourgeoisie against the worker. The bourgeois regime can be preserved only by such murderous means as these. For how long? Until it is overthrown by proletarian revolution.”

Source: Leon Trotsky, “The Collapse of Bourgeois Democracy” from “Whither France?”, 1934

So what should be done with these fascist gangs, whose idea of “fun” is to rampage through Athens beating up “foreign-looking” immigrants and tourists?  Again, let’s turn to Trotsky:

“Fascism finds unconscious helpers in all those who say that the ‘physical struggle’ is impermissible or hopeless, and demand of Doumergue the disarmament of his fascist guard. Nothing is so dangerous for the proletariat, especially in the present situation, as the sugared poison of false hopes. Nothing increases the insolence of the fascists so much as ‘flabby pacificism’ on the part of the workers’ organizations. Nothing so destroys the confidence of the middle classes in the working-class as temporizing, passivity, and the absence of the will to struggle…

[…]

“[The socialist and communist newspapers write every day:]

“The united front is a barrier against fascism”;
“the united front will not permit…”;
“the fascists will not dare”, etc.

“These are phrases. It is necessary to say squarely to the workers, Socialists, and Communists: do not allow yourselves to be lulled by the phrases of superficial and irresponsible journalists and orators. It is a question of our heads and the future of socialism. It is not that we deny the importance of the united front. We demanded it when the leaders of both parties were against it. The united front opens up numerous possibilities, but nothing more. In itself, the untied front decides nothing. Only the struggle of the masses decides. The untied front will reveal its value when Communist detachments will come to the help of Socialist detachments and vice versa in the case of an attack by the fascist bands against Le Populaire or l’Humanite. But for that, proletarian combat detachments must exist and be educated, trained, and armed. And if there is not an organization of defense, i.e., a workers’ militia, [the Socialist and Communist newspapers] will be able to write as many articles as they like on the omnipotence of the united front, but the two papers will find themselves defenseless before the first well-prepared attack of the fascists.”

[Source: Leon Trotsky, “The Workers’ Militia And Its Opponents”, from “Whither France?”, 1934]

The time has come in Greece to organize such a “workers’ militia”.  The only “debate” the fascists understand is a debate which will end with the workers “acquainting the fascists’ heads with the pavement”!

IWPCHI

[For more of Trotsky’s writings on the subject of how to oppose fascism, see: “Fascism: What it Is and How to Fight It” here: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm     as well as his the excellent collection of his articles on the rise of fascism in Germany in the 1930s that make up the book “The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany”, Pathfinder Press.   Many of the articles in this book can also be found here by looking for the articles about Germany and/or fascism:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/index.htm

Fake “Radical Socialist” Syriza Coalition Wants to Keep Euro

In a new article by the Reuters news agency, it is being reported that Alex Tsipras, leader of the “radical socialist” Syriza coalition, is determined to keep Greece in the Euro, while pleading that the extent of the austerity program demanded by the European Central Bank by lessened somewhat, while the “leadership” of SYRIZA look forward to attaining ministerial portfolios in a capitalist government after the new elections scheduled for June.  This, if true, would indicate quite clearly that SYRIZA, far from being any kind of “revolutionary” movement seeking to overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with a workers government is in fact ready to shove a reduced austerity program down the throats of the Greek working class.  This would be a betrayal of the Greek workers of the highest order.  Only the overthrow of the capitalist system by the Greek working class and the establishment of a revolutionary workers government can lead the way forward out of the severe capitalist economic crisis for Greece – and the rest of the world as well.

While European and Greek bankers issue dire threats to the SYRIZA leaders, claiming that if the brutal austerity program being forced upon Greece by the ECB isn’t imposed by SYRIZA, the sky will fall and the seas will dry up, in fact refusing to do the dirty work of bailing out the capitalist class by destroying the lives of Greek workers should never be an option for any political party representing the interests of the working class. 

Reuters reports: “Government officials have warned that Greece could run out of cash as early as the end of June if it does not have a government in place to negotiate the next aid tranche with its lenders.

” ‘The country is up in the air,’ financial daily Imerisia wrote on its front page, warning in an editorial: ‘The country is moving to the brink of collapse and hopes for restoring the political stability are fading away.’ ” 

Bullshit!  Sure, the bankers and Greek capitalists who created this economic crisis will lose a lot of money if the austerity program is kicked into the trash by the Greek working class – but only such a move – followed by a workers revolution – can save the working class of Greece from years of suffering and deprivation at the hands of the greedheads running the ECB.

Reuters: “The anti-bailout vote was divided among small parties but has now rallied behind Tsipras. Polls show he would now place first if the vote is repeated, a prize that comes with a bonus of 50 extra seats in the 300-seat parliament.

“Tsipras has consistently refused to join a coalition government with the establishment conservative and socialist parties that ruled Greece for decades, but were punished by voters last week for their role in agreeing the EU rescue, which requires deep cuts in wages and pensions.

“Tsipras says he wants to keep Greece in the euro but the bailout deal must be torn up, a position shared by an overwhelming majority of Greeks but regarded by many in Brussels as untenable. European leaders say tearing up the bailout would require them to cut off funding, allow Greece to go bankrupt and eject it from the European single currency.”

“Tearing up” the bailout deal sounds “radical”… but the “devil is in the details” as we say.  If Tsipras truly places keeping Greece in the Euro, then he intends to try to negotiate a deal with the ECB on the austerity plan – a deal that would make it look to the Greek workers as if he has “saved” Greece from the most severe aspects of the austerity ripoff, while giving the European bankers most of what they have demanded.  This is a classic sellout by fake-socialists who value acquiring their own ministerial portfolios in a capitalist government over leading the workers in an actual revolution.  Like the infamous attempted sellout of the Russian workers by the Menshevik Party in 1917, which betrayed the working class of Russia into the hands of the capitalists – a betrayal thwarted by the Bolsheviks, who led the world’s first successful workers revolution when the working class dumped the Mensheviks in favor of the revolutionary program of the Bolsheviks, SYRIZA is seeking a way to show the Greek capitalist class that SYRIZA can be trusted as “responsible” political leaders who will do all they can to save the disintegrating world capitalist system. 

Ominously, in the event that the Greek working-class parties prove incapable of providing truly revolutionary leadership to lead the way out of this crisis, there lurks the fascist “Golden Dawn” party – and the capitalist leadership of Greece – while perhaps, like the German ruling class back in the 1930s “holding their noses” – have begun discussions with the fascists as well.

“All seven political parties that won seats in last week’s election were given audiences with the president on Sunday, demonstrating the radical transformation that has taken place in just a week after generations of stable two-party rule.

“Among parties Papoulias was obliged to meet was the far right Golden Dawn, in parliament for the first time. Many Greeks watched in shock as the president, a revered 82-year-old veteran of the World War II anti-Nazi resistance, received the leader of a group whose members give Nazi-style salutes.

“Papoulias, shown on TV smiling with other leaders, was stony faced when seated opposite Golden Dawn’s Nikalaos Mihaloliakos. Journalists at the mansion sat on the ground in protest when Mihaloliakos entered and refused to ask questions when he left.”

This is the way the capitalist class “hedges its bets” in the event of an upsurge of working class militancy.  The capitalists always prepare to drown the workers movement in blood if the workers make a half-assed attempt at a revolution.  The way they do this is by using fascist shock troops to attack the working class parties.  Either the Greek working class creates a revolutionary party capable of smashing the fascist threat and seizes power in the name of the working class, or the workers will suffer a bloody defeat at the hands of the fascists – a defeat that may take many decades to reverse, while putting the nation through hell in the meantime, as the victory of Hitler’s stormtroopers led Germany – and the world – through hell from 1933 – 1945. 

Let’s hope that the Greek working class can prevent such a disaster from happening.  Is there a Bolshevik leadership in Greece today?  If so, let’s hope to see them taking their place at the head of the Greek working class as soon as possible.

Source: Reuters: “Greek elections loom after leftist rejects coalition talks”, By Lefteris Papadimas and Harry Papachristou

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/14/us-greece-idUSBRE84D07X20120514