[Marxism] news notes from Greece: SWP, UK (Antarsya view)
daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 10:27:04 MDT 2015
Bosses demand Syriza makes more 'reforms'
Europe’s rulers are continuing to blackmail Greece’s Syriza-led
government in the latest round of “crunch” talks two months after
forcing it into a humiliating compromise.
They don’t want to release £5.2 billion in bailout funds until they’re
satisfied Greece is willing to push through more attacks on workers.
A meeting of eurozone deputy finance ministers on Wednesday of this
week was supposed to be a deadline for a new reform plan. Finance
chiefs plan talks on Friday.
But bigger deadlines are looming. Greece is due to pay £700 million to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May.
And in July and August the European Central Bank (ECB) will demand
almost £5 billion.
Syriza vested much hope in finding allies against the powerful German
government—from the ECB and IMF chiefs to France and Italy’s
Labour-type austerity governments.
But they are united in calling for Greece to hurry up with neoliberal reform.
Syriza has ruled out defaulting on the debt, which was racked up by
bailing out the bankers who gambled on Greece’s economy and lost.
But the alternative may be defaulting on its campaign promises, or
even on public sector workers’ wages, as it struggles to pay everyone
Joint training with US military
Major joint military exercises between Greece, the US and Israel began
in the Aegean Sea on Monday of this week.
The sea separates Greece and most of Turkey.
The military exercises follow a £369 million contract with arms
manufacturer Lockheed Martin for upgrading military planes.
This is more than twice the estimated cost of humanitarian measures
agreed in Greece’s parliament last month.
The deal had been pushed by defence minister Panos Kammenos, leader of
Syriza’s hard right coalition partner the Independent Greeks.
Cops raid student occupation
Police ended an Athens University student occupation on Friday morning
of last week. They arrested all 14 students inside.
While small scale, the raid marked an important shift. Police have
generally not entered university premises since the fall of the
dictatorship in 1974.
It followed right wing pressure over Syriza’s ability to maintain “order”.
The occupation was called in support of anarchist prisoners, and had
lasted for more than two weeks.
March against new gold mine
Thousands marched in central Athens on Thursday of last week against
the planned opening of the Skouries gold mine in Halkidiki in northern
They included supporters of the anti-capitalist left coalition Antarsya.
A demonstration in favour of the mine also took place. It was
instigated by the bosses.
The mine would be an environmental disaster and faces wide opposition.
But Syriza is under pressure to show it isn’t blocking “investment” in Greece.
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