Greece

Syriza left says: “We won’t vote for austerity”

Author: 

Martin Thomas

On 24 April eurozone finance ministers meet again to discuss whether to release the remaining credits to Greece which were agreed under the last memorandum.

Greece made an outline deal on 20 February, but the eurozone ministers say they want more details before they release cash. In the run-up to 24 April, they are more hard-faced than ever. German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said: “Nobody expects that there will be a solution”.

On 24 April eurozone finance ministers meet again to discuss whether to release the remaining credits to Greece which were agreed under the last memorandum.

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Greece's Nazis go on trial

Author: 

Theodora Polenta

On 20 April, the trial of 69 members of Greece’s fascist party Golden Dawn — Greece’s “little Nuremberg” — began in a packed room at the Women’s Prison of Korydallos, near Piraeus.

It was then adjourned to 7 May, in order to designate defence counsel for one of the defendants who had no lawyer.

The 69 defendants include the head of the party, Nikos Michaloliakos, and all the previous parliamentary group of Golden Dawn.

The matters before the court are:

• The murder of the musician Pavlos Fyssas on the night of 17 September 2013

On 20 April, the trial of 69 members of Greece’s fascist party Golden Dawn began near Piraeus.

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EU set to push Greece to its knees

Author: 

Theodora Polenta

After the re-invigoration of the squares movement with mobilisations in support of the Syriza-led government and against the Troika (EU-ECB-IMF) blackmail, the movement is slowly starting to intervene with mobilisations which are not anti-government (except those of the anarchist groups) but seek to “remind” the government of its election commitments and to counter the lTroika’s ultimatums.

Greek workers are demanding that Syriza carry out the programme on which it was elected and that it not submit to the cynical blackmail of the financiers and the Troika.

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Syriza left can be decisive

Author: 

Antonis Davanellos

The weaknesses of the Syriza-led government’s position are weaker still if viewed in terms of the international balance of power.

The brazen blackmail of the European “institutions” and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is designed to force the government to choose between direct subordination to the lenders or rapid collapse.

A member of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA) and of Syriza’s left wing assesses the current situation in Greece.

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Eurozone leaders demand new coalition in Greece

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

On 8 April Greece’s prime minister, and leader of the left-wing Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, visits Moscow.

Officially he is talking only about Greek fruit exports to Russia, but rumour is that he will explore whether Russia might lend the Greek government money if the eurozone and the IMF won’t.

For 9 April the Greek government has promised that it will in fact make a debt repayment due to the IMF. On 24 April eurozone finance ministers meet, and Greece hopes to get a deal for more credit.

The Financial Times reports that finance ministers are telling Syriza’s leaders that they will get no relief until they break with Syriza’s left wing and instead form a coalition government with the pro-cuts Pasok and To Potami parties.

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Time on whose side?

Author: 

Colin Foster

As I write, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is heading to Berlin for talks with Angela Merkel (23 March). He has sent a letter saying that the present limits imposed on Greece by eurozone finance ministers and the European Central Bank (ECB) “would make it impossible for any [Greek] government to service its debt”.

He “urges” Merkel to support an easing.

Let’s hope he succeeds. The trouble is that international left and labour-movement solidarity with Syriza is increasingly reduced to hoping that Tsipras does well in talks.

The left in Greece should demand that Syriza breaks the ban on “unilateral measures”, implements its social reforms, and seeks Europe-wide solidarity.

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View from Syriza's left

Author: 

Antonis Davanellos

Syriza’s Central Committee met at the end of February to discuss the interim agreement made with European leaders over Greece’s debts. An amendment from the Left Platform characterised the agreement as a retreat from Syriza’s commitment to reverse austerity. This was defeated by a narrow margin, with a number of people from Tsipras’ majority grouping within Syriza supporting the position.

An article by a member of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA) and the Syriza Central Committee about the situation in Greece.

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The Socialist Workers' Party and Syriza

Author: 

Martin Thomas

On 26 February 500 demonstrators marched in Athens denouncing the Syriza-led government’s deal with the Eurogroup finance ministers and demanding that Greece repudiate its debt and quit the EU.

Some of the demonstrators — not on the initiative of the organisers, it seems — smashed up shops, set cars on fire, and threw molotov cocktails.

The SWP can cope with the tasks of revolutionary socialist politics when all that requires is general shouting about the virtues of militancy and anger. When it requires strategic intelligence and patient political argument, the SWP flops from one pose to another.

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Advice or class struggle?

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The Guardian has published (18 February) a talk from 2013 by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in which he declared himself an “erratic Marxist”.

Varoufakis praises Marx’s account of how capital both develops labour’s creativity and energy, and simultaneously cramps it within rigid, quantifying limits. But, he says, he himself seeks “a modest agenda” to “save European capitalism from itself”.

The Greek working class put Syriza in office and Varoufakis in the finance ministry because it is not yet ready for revolution. It wants to try for relief through negotiations.

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Long-distance race in Greece

Author: 

Sotiris Martalis, a member of the Greek socialist group DEA (Internationalist Workers Left)

The government portrayed the agreement with the Europeans as a matter of necessity, caused by the position it was left in by the previous government and the imminent expiration date on the bailout of February 28.

They claim that they won time — four months to prepare for further negotiations where they can make more gains.

An analysis by Sotiris Martalis, a member of the Greek socialist group DEA (Internationalist Workers Left), abridged from the US Socialist Worker.

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