According to Stathis Kouvelakis, a left-wing member of Syriza’s central committee, writing on 3 May: “The latest from the negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup in Brussels is that breakdown seems quite close.
“The IMF is in the frontline, asking for further deregulation of the labour market and opposing the government’s plan to reestablish collective bargaining. According to the usually well-informed right-wing paper Kathimerini the demands of the IMF also include further cuts in pensions and oppose any raising of the minimum wage.”
Yet the Syriza-led government is rapidly approaching the point where, if it does not make a new deal with the eurozone finance ministers, it will fail to make payments falling due on Greece’s debt,
The indications are that the government will capitulate and do a deal which brings a new round of cuts to Greece. But sizeable forces in Syriza oppose capitulation.
John Milios, chief economic adviser to Syriza and until recently aligned with Syriza’s majority rather than the left-wing minority, has written on his blog:
“Austerity is primarily a class policy: promotes constantly the interests of capital over those of workers, professionals, pensioners and other vulnerable groups. In the long run it aims to create a working model with fewer rights and less social protection, low and flexible wages and the absence of any substantial bargaining power for wage-workers.
“It is not even imaginable for a government that stands on the side of labour and the social majority to retreat in face of blackmail demanding continued austerity...
“The neoliberal trap can be broken when the Greek government makes it clear that, if forced to it, will choose to delay payments in order not to breach its mandate from the people...
“Delaying payments does not involve leaving the eurozone.” Milios cites ratings agencies which say that they would not cut Greece’s credit rating to "in default" if it misses a payment to the International Monetary Fund or European Central Bank.
Milios argues that the government’s priority should be “the ‘home front’, the struggle for social justice and democracy, against the interests of the oligarchy that imposed the Memorandum policies”.
It should develop a “’reverse redistribution’, which means social justice policies, transferring the burden to the ‘haves’, a ‘Memorandum for big business’ that will bring financial resources for the implementation of our programme”.