AWL statement on Greece

July 13, 2015 at 4:54 pm (AWL, Europe, Greece, posted by JD)

This statement was published by Workers Liberty on 9 July – ie before today’s agreement (which can only be described as a capitulation) by Trsipras to the terms of the Troika’s bailout package:

Solidarity with Greece, and with the Greek workers and Left

After the huge vote in Greece against the bailout conditions the European Union leaders are seeking to impose, the left and labour movement internationally, and particularly in the EU, face two tasks.

The first is the strongest possible solidarity with Greece against the banks and against the EU hierarchy. What is happening to Greece is primarily a class, not a national struggle, and we reject the idea that Greek “national independence” from the EU is a desirable or credible solution to the crisis the country faces. Nonetheless, there is a large element of big power, imperialist bullying going on. We should denounce and oppose it as loudly as we can. We demand that, instead of plotting how to push Greece out of the Euro, the EU reopens real negotiations with the Greek government. Of course we also demand the Greek government is allowed to carry out its policies freed from external diktat!

The second is solidarity with Greece’s workers’ organisations and class-struggle left, including the left in Syriza. The reports today (9 July) that the leadership of Syriza is now rushing to make a deal which would involve further brutal austerity – assuming the EU will agree it! – highlights why that, and not just bland “solidarity with Greece”, is necessary. It seems the Syriza leadership may use the “No” vote as a mandate to justify and push through austerity measures. In the fact of that, the question is what the Syriza left will do.

A deal with the lenders is not necessarily unprincipled, in itself. Russia’s revolutionary workers’ government made a very bad deal with German imperialism in 1918 because it did not have a better option. The problem is that the character of the Syriza leadership and government have impelled them to seek a deal regardless of the options and the costs, because they are terrified of ending up outside the Eurozone or EU, and of seriously mobilising the masses.

The options available are indeed harsh. If Greece is pushed out of the Eurozone, its people will still suffer. Out of the Eurozone, attacks against the Syriza government from the EU leaders and the Greek bourgeoisie will intensify. Radical measures – like expropriation of the banks and attacks on the wealth of the shipping industry, the church, etc; a fight for workers’ control; and a purging of the police and military command and the creation of popular militias – would be necessary to prevent social and political collapse.

The choice is between preparing for such measures – many of which are, after all, official Syriza policy – and helpless capitulation one way or another. For sure, staying in the EU at all costs means accepting crushing “memoranda” from the lenders.

The only real way out is to spread the struggle across Europe. That means seriously fighting our own ruling classes and their austerity programs, as well as building the strongest possible solidarity with Greece and the Greek workers.

Socialists internationally need to do what we can to help socialists and organised workers in Greece prepared for a renewed fight, including against the Syriza leadership and government if necessary.


* Comrade Coatesy takes a somewhat different view, here

* Via Kevin Ovenden, today, in Athens:”The public sector trade union federation in Greece, ADEDY, has called a general strike for Wednesday. The strike against the Third Memorandum will be officially announced tomorrow. But activists throughout the public sector unions have begun organising for the stoppage this afternoon. Activists in other sectors – the private sector, the universities, the school students, etc – are also agitating for whatever action they believe they can get.

“The parliament has to agree the new memorandum by midnight on Wednesday.

“If MPs are to vote tomorrow, then the strike will be brought forward to tomorrow. Militants of the fighting left are pushing for an “active strike” – in the streets with mass demonstrations, not staying at home.”


  1. Jim Denham said,

    Statement from the Youth of SYRIZA (badly translated by Facebook)

    Last night, all the peoples of the worlds have spoken for a coup. With the aim of exemplary humiliation of a government and an entire population, the political leadership of the eurozone, threatening directly with uncontrolled default or scenarios exit signs from the euro with more over here harder measures, secured a deal-memorandum, which cannot be considered viable for the wide social majority. In practice this proposed in the Greek government condenses the revenge of the world capital of the workers and youth who dared to fight, to show off a leftist government, to coordinate with the peoples of Europe in the squares and streets, to achieve a glorious victory In the referendum of 5 July and to demonstrate the enormous power they have. Against such a coup we cannot sit on our hands. The world of work and the youth I reject these pressures, not to allow ourselves to be voted on such an agreement, to prevent scenarios overthrow of the elected government and to restore the magnificent “no” of 5 July at the forefront, as the decisive Element of the next day. A framework, as it requires the neoliberal leadership of the eurozone, couldn’t get into ever and not and now can fit the youth of this country, youth who in massive resisted in fear because there’s nothing left to lose, but it’s and sure Can make a better world. It is now clear that a radical left σχεδίο has with him the wide majority of youth towards the blackmail and The Coups of lenders. Even in the most difficult circumstances. No easy choice not open to us. We cannot, however, to go behind the deep radical cuts we need: The break with the policies of austerity, the recovery of employment, education in the measures of our needs, not their profits, the radical democratisation of the state, the redistribution of wealth and power down. We can’t go back from the consolidation of democracy, of popular sovereignty and solidarity as basic principles of society in which we live. We call on the new and young people, today at 19:00 to demonstrate against the coup of the political leadership of the Eurozone against our people, not to let the coup that to be completed. Youth Syriza

  2. Steven Johnston said,

    “Socialists internationally need to do what we can to help socialists and organised workers in Greece prepared for a renewed fight, including against the Syriza leadership and government if necessary.”

    Syriza and the Greek government are not our enemies, capitalism is.
    No one is forcing austerity on the Greeks, capitalism is.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Greece is the ultimate socialist country where no one wanted to work and they thought some other people from some other countries owed them a living. But apparantly they brought democracy to the world and that counts for something. AND MEANWHILE the Greek conmen assisted by the new socialist government CONMEN continue to con the pheasants.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Bah, that sounds more like Knightbridge.

  3. Rilke said,

    ….pheasants? No Glesga, you’re thinking of gamekeepers not Greeks. Witless generalisations are apt to collapse necessary distinctions, especially those between human and animal.

  4. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    I reckon the human and animal are going to have to be fed in Greece with outside help. The Greek people were conned by Syriza opportunists who knew they were on a hiding to nothing.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      That is the danger when you personalize capitalism, the left did it in the 80s with Thatcher but it was not her fault then either. There is no alternative to austerity if that is what the system is demanding.

    • caseypurvis said,

      ffing money tree. low iq people are really stupid

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