Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Elections of the 17th of June: We vote once again for the Left to break with the Austerity Memoranda!

Through their vote on 6th May, the Greek people sent a message of resistance to the Greek and European elites, putting at the same time an end to a long domination of the country's political life by two parties: the Social democrats of PASOK and the Conservatives of Nea Dimokratia. Although mainstream media, representing big interests, are trying to interpret the results as they see fit, the clear message of the elections is the punishment of the two pro-austerity parties, which got their worst electoral results since the military regime overthrow, the people’s turn towards the left and the rejection of the austerity policy that has been implemented for the last two years.

The electoral rise of the radical and communist left, with SYRIZA's votes soaring, KKE steadily progressing and ANTARSYA seeing its electoral power tripling, meant that those three parties gathered together around 27% of the votes. This is primarily a victory of the Greek people, who, during the past two years fought a heroic struggle, participated in mass demonstrations, organized strikes, resisted to police brutality and media propaganda and established solidarity networks, nurturing an international movement of solidarity. The first concrete result of this victory is that the new measures of social misery planned for June are frozen. The political representatives of the European corporations, faced with the first electoral revolt in Europe against their anti-labour policy are seriously worried. We hope that the second revolt will come soon with the rejection of the Austerity Treaty by the Irish people.

The three parties that wish to go on with the memoranda (Nea Dimokratia, PASOK and DIMAR), did not manage to form one more government that would implement the Troika’s policies, despite their parliamentary majority, since they felt that such a government would rapidly fall under the pressure of popular mobilisation.

The new electoral period leading up to the 17th June elections is characterized by intense efforts to intimidate the Greek people, not only from the part of the domestic bourgeoisie but also by the representatives of the German (Merkel, Schäuble), French (Fabius) and EU (Barroso, ECB) imperialism. The German Chancellor intervenes directly in the internal affairs of the country, proposing a referendum on the euro; the G8 states that Greece should implement the memoranda of the loan agreements, which have just been rejected by the people in the ballot boxes, and the rating agencies continue their gambling, downgrading the Greek economy.

We, as with the 6th of May elections, keep calling the Greeks living in Belgium to vote, and to support once again the left, that is SYRIZA, KKE and ANTARSYA. The goal should be the rejection of the loan agreements and the accompanying memoranda, and the adoption of a series of measures of direct wealth re-distribution and socialization of banks and basic sectors of the economy. The implementation of these measures would require the active support of Greek people demonstrating on the streets, and mobilising in the workplaces.

We do not recognize the dilemma “euro or chaos”. If people manage to have a government which serves their interests, this government should act according to their needs, and not in the interests of bankers and Eurocrats who only want to rescue the profits of banks and multinationals. Given that the EU institutions and almost all other European governments remain shackled in such interests, the parties in favour of the abolition of the memoranda should have prepared an exit plan out of the Eurozone, in case the elites tend to use the currency or EU legislation as tools, in order to impede the Greek people from safeguarding their dignity. The Left should not bury its head in the sand. In an EU which was created and is still dominated by industrialists and bankers, the immediate needs of Greek people cannot wait if and when the EU will be transformed into a people’s Europe. On the contrary, Greek workers can lead the way so that other European nations caught into the trap of neoliberal austerity programs, rise up and overthrow the unjust policy that is imposed on them. 

Thus, the left wing parties should now prepare a transition plan and provide meaningful answers on how they will implement a potential exit from the Eurozone, as long as this is in favor of the Greek people's interests and under their terms. The exit, which seems to be a possibility, is not equivalent to destruction. What is really destructive is the plan of the Troika and the Greek elites, which impoverishes the big majority of Greeks day by day, destroys public services, such as health and education, deteriorates social inequality and exacerbates xenophobic reactions, holding hostage the lives of the many for the profitability of the few.
At this point there are no painless and easy solutions. The elections are the first step but we will also continue fighting after them. With the Greek people demonstrating and striking, we too will continue striving for the greatest possible support from the Belgian people in abolishing the austerity memoranda and building a real European solidarity.



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