Greece: socialism or fascism?

The popular front government constituted on 26 February by Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) with ANEL (Independent Greeks) has without surprise shown itself unable to make ship-owners and the Church pay their taxes; it consented on 23 June to the plan of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund; it has called on 26 June a referendum to obtain a renegotiation of the public debt in exchange of the plan; it changed its Minister of Economy on the very evening of the referendum, on 5 July. Finally, Syriza surrendered completely on 13 July to the diktat of the French and German governments.

Never, in European jargon, has the term « compromise » seemed so little adapted. The « agreement » reached on the early morning of 13 July between Greece and the rest of the Euro zone looks henceforth like a rout for the Greek government (La Tribune, 13 July 2015)

To have that historical treason swallowed by the working class and by his own party, Tsipras came back with a vague promise of a lengthening of repayment. Although the Greek government has reminded that Germany saw its public debt cancelled in 1953, although numerous bourgeois economists, the French government and the IMF recognized that never could Greece repay, Tsipras did not obtain the slightest obliteration of the debt.

But his only real success is to have obtained the opening of a discussion on a « profiling » of the debt, in other words, on a new timetable. But one must remember that this plan will further increase the debt and that a rescheduling risks simply to « smooth » the effects of this increase. And, as one could note it, Athens is all except in a position of strength to renegotiate well that rescheduling. (La Tribune, 13 July 2015)

Syriza arose out of a merger of between a wing of the former Stalinist party that betrayed socialist revolution in 1944, and a certain number of « Trotskyist » groups that are opportunist and accustomed to capitulate in front of anything that is popular at a given time.

The same organizations that, in the whole world, promoted Syriza and its fake referendum, supported the many « days of action » by the trade union confederations GSEE, PAME and ADEDY, the same that make American, French, German, Italian or Spanish workers believe that voting papers can ensure the « citizen’s revolution » or the « fiscal revolution », never required the unconditional cancellation of the debt claims of their own rapacious bourgeoisie on Greece.

I trust Tsipras! … If Greece goes bankrupt, the French people will have to pay 40 milliards Euros and the Germans 60 milliards. That cannot be envisaged. If one finds the technical agreement that allows to cancel the Greek debt by rescheduling mechanisms, all will spare themselves that absurd trial. The whole responsibility for the danger rests with Merkel and Schäuble… (Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Le Monde, 25 June 2015)

The debt of the Greek bourgeoisie is not that of the Greek workers. By supporting an « audit », a « moratorium », a « partial cancellation », a « rescheduling », etc. the corrupt trade union bureaucracies (CGT, CFDT, FO…), the social-imperialist parties (PS, PdG, PCF) and their centrist deputies (NPA…) recognize the right of exploiters of their country to share the world between themselves and to oppress small nations. The PCF and PS ratified the imperialist plan in the National Assembly on the side of the LR, UDI, PRG, EELV… The PS is the axis of the present government in the service of imperialism. The PCF has several times participated in imperialist French governments. The founder of the PdG has been member of one of those imperialist governments. To overthrow the French bourgeoisie, one must build a new workers’ party, revolutionary and internationalist, in conjunction with other conscious workers in the world.

Behind the IMF and the EU appear the main Western imperialist powers, the bourgeoisies of Germany, France, the United States… The attitude of the EU was laid down during the meeting between Merkel and Hollande on 6 July. The CDU-SPD coalition government has been intransigent and humiliating without the SPD distinguishing itself from the CDU. The PS-PRG government participated directly to the enslaving of Greece. It is Merkel who squeezed the garrotte on Tsipras, but it is Hollande who put the rope around his neck, French higher officials having helped their Greek peers to draw up their concessions.

On Tuesday 8 July, at the seat of the European Council, the French started to take matters into their own hands, apart from the Eurogroup and the summit. (Le Monde, 12 July 2015)

The Merkel-Hollande-Tsipras plan transforms Greece into a protectorate with the country brought under tutelage by the IMF and the EU, with further privatizations (50 milliards Euros) to the benefit of imperialist groups of the whole world. It hits, once again, workers by raising the VAT to 23 % and the retirement age to 67 years.

Help will possibly be negotiated, only after the Greek Parliament carries a package of priority reforms. This package must be voted till Wednesday, in order that Greece gives proof of its seriousness and rebuilds trust with its creditors. It is the matter of passing the reform of VAT, the reform of retirement pensions… (Les Échos, 13 July 2015)

Syriza has mounted a popular front government with a xenophobic bourgeois party, has deliberately staked on nationalism (red flags have disappeared from demonstrations to the benefit of the Greek flag with a Christian symbol), it has refused to mobilize the working class against the national bourgeoisie and the imperialist bourgeoisies. Proof that it serves the Greek ruling class, Tsipras obtained in Parliament the support of most of the main bourgeois parties (ANEL, ND, Pasok, To Potami…).

The other branch of Stalinism, that kept the name KKE (Communist Party of Greece), plays an as much catastrophic role: refusal to trace a perspective, division of workers’ ranks, split of trade unions and chauvinism to make workers believe that the exit from Euro and the EU will benefit them, as if capitalism in a single country would allow to escape from economic crises and foreign domination.

The KKE and Syriza have supported the diversions of strikes limited in advance to 24 (or 48) hours, the outlets of elections. Neither Syriza nor KKE have wanted to govern together to cancel the debt, neither have created workers’, peasants’ and students’ councils. The social-patriotism shared by Syriza and KKE, their common trust in the hypertrophied bourgeois army, the surrender of the Tsipras and the sectarianism of KKE play into the hands of the army staff and fascism represented mainly by XA (Golden Dawn).

All workers in the world need a communist international to open the way to world socialism.

The socialist movement cannot triumph within the old framework of the fatherland. It creates new and superior forms of human society, in which the legitimate needs and progressive aspirations of the working masses of each nationality will, for the first time, be met through international unity, provided existing national partitions are removed. (Lenin, The Position and Tasks of the Socialist International, 1st November 1914)

Workers in Greece need a revolutionary and internationalist workers’ party, faithful to the legacy of Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky and Pouliopoulos, that fights for:

  • No to bringing Greece under tutelage by capitalist Europe and the IMF! United workers’ front against the Merkel-Hollande-Tsipras plan! General strike to be called by GSEE, PAME and ADEDY until the cancellation of debt and the withdrawal of the imperialist plan!
  • Separation of Church and State! Cancellation of the public debt! Expropriation of banks and large companies, starting with the ship-owners! Suppression of the VAT on consumer goods of workers! Emergency economic plan to satisfy social needs!
  • Withdrawal from NATO! Dissolution of the army and the police! Armament of the people against the police force and the fascists! Democratic rights for conscripts!
  • Wage increase! Work sharing until the disappearance of unemployment! Unity of local and migrant workers! A unique, democratic and class-struggle union confederation! Committees gathering all workers in firms, administrations, districts, villages, universities, for workers’ and popular control!
  • Down with the Greek bourgeois State and the capitalist EU! Workers’ and peasants’ government based on the committees and popular armament! United Socialist States of Europe!

15 July 2015
Groupe marxiste internationaliste [French section of the Permanent Revolution Collective]