Greece

Syriza shifts to the right

Author: 

Theodora Polenta

SYRIZA’s Central Committee meeting on 21-22 June was a turning point for the organisation.

Although the meeting was to evaluate recent electoral results (local and European elections), the debate was primarily concerned about a new wave of radicalisation and the tactical and strategic steps that a government of the left would need. Especially one dialectically connected with a combatative working-class movement, with a “transitional” perspective on how to achieve general social liberation and socialism.

SYRIZA’s Central Committee meeting on 21-22 June was a turning point for the organisation.

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Greek cleaners' strike: “We are no longer scared!”

Cleaners at the Ministry of Justice have been on strike for 10 months against government job cuts and privatisation

On 30 June the Greek civil service union ADEDY began a series of protests which will culminate in a strike on 9 July.

The protests are against the public sector mobility scheme which has been in operation since September 2013. Under the scheme selected workers, predominantly the lowest paid, have their wages cuts by 25%, are put into a redeployment pool and are sacked if no alternative job is found. The scheme was a way for the tripartite government of PASOK-ND-DHMAR to immediately sack 4,000 civil servants, and a further 11,000 by the end of 2014.

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Greece: after Syriza's poll victory

The slogan “First-time victory for the Left!”, chanted on the evening of 25 May, denoted a genuinely unprecedented event: for the first time in 180 years of the existence of the Greek state, a leftist party had come out first in nation-wide elections.

In the Euro-election, Syriza got 26.6%, and the ruling conservative New Democracy party 22.8%. The results create a new post-election political landscape. In fact the election results represents a major policy reversal of quality, substance and political orientation, which overcomes the numerical rates.

For the first time in the existence of the Greek state, a leftist party had come out first in nation-wide elections.

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Syriza ranks resist drift to centre

In the recent interventions of three of the most central and media-exposed Syriza members, Giannis Dragasakis (responsible for the Syriza programme), Giorgos Stathakis (Head of Sector for Development) and Giannis Milios (Head of the Department of Economic Affairs), we can see a new “narrative” on key issues: debt, “Marshall Plan”, “primary surplus” and “balanced budget”, banks.

It is an attempt to form a “centre-left” (with the emphasis on the centre) quasi-social-democratic narrative, rather than a working-class-biased left narrative.

Giannis Milios has said:

Recent interventions by three of Syriza's central members display a new “narrative” on key issues.

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Greece: thousands face eviction

A law restricting evictions in Greece expired at the end of 2013.

The law said before eviction many things must be taken into account, and mortgage repayments can be adjusted to 30% of income for 48 months, giving some protection from seizure and auction for the debtor’s principal residence.

The law protected about 180,000 households from eviction. In December 27,000 eviction orders were pending but frozen, and about 100,000 families were at risk of losing their homes.

A law restricting evictions in Greece expired at the end of 2013.

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Greece's “new normal”

On Sunday 1 December, a 13 year old girl died in the Xirokrini district of Thessaloniki (north-east Greece), where she lived with her unemployed mother.

Originally from Serbia, the girl had lived in Thessaloniki for the last ten years. Her mother struggled along by doing casual jobs such as cleaning houses and washing dishes in restaurants.

In recent months the jobs ran out. According to neighbours, the mother and daughter had lived for the last quarter without electricity. It had been cut off because of their inability to pay.

Memorandum policies have turned the clock back decades for the working-class movement, Greeks and immigrants alike. However, as always, the migrants are the first and the worst hit.

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Greek protests against ecological destruction

A caravan of protest against the development of a new gold mine on the mountain of Skouries, on the Halkidiki peninsula in north-east Greece (near Thessaloniki), made its way to Athens on 25 November.

At a time of relative lull in other battles (participation was low in the general strike at the beginning of November), this movement has mobilised thousands of people on the street (not restricted to the “usual suspects”).

A caravan of protest against the development of a new gold mine on the mountain of Skouries, on the Halkidiki peninsula in north-east Greece (near Thessaloniki), made its way to Athens on 25 November.

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Nazis confronted

On Saturday 9 November, various fascists and neo-Nazis (including the newly-formed “New British Union”) called a demonstration at the Greek Embassy in London in solidarity with the jailed leadership of Greek fascist party Golden Dawn.

On Saturday 9 November, fascists and neo-Nazis called a demonstration at the Greek Embassy in London in solidarity with the jailed leadership of Greek fascist party Golden Dawn.

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Greece: a “strategy of tension”?

On Friday 1 November a motorcycle stopped outside the party offices of fascist Golden Dawn movement in the north Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio, and the riders shot the Golden Dawn members that were guarding the offices.

Two Golden Dawn members were killed, and another critically injured.

No-one knows who organised the killing, but regardless of that the murders are, politically, a provocation that will harm the anti-fascist movement and the left.

The “professional” form of the attack suggests a prescribed professional execution plan and experienced operators.

On Friday 1 November a motorcycle stopped outside the party offices of fascist Golden Dawn movement in the north Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio, and the riders shot the Golden Dawn members that were guarding the offices.

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No to anti-Roma racism!

Solidarity 301 (25 October) reported on the case of Maria, the “unusual” girl found living in a Roma community in Greece and removed from her family.

Fanned by racist outcries from the media, Maria was quickly proclaimed to probably be of Northern or Eastern European origin and in all likelihood trafficked, all based on her physical appearance.

We must not allow racist ideas about Roma to be whipped up, certainly not under the guise of protecting children.

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