[Marxism] what's at stake in Greek referendum; Podemos: 'We stand with Greek people, for democracy'

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 04:30:27 MDT 2015

The Restoration of Dignity
Now more than ever, the Greek people are in need of support and
solidarity in every form.
by Giannakopoulos Georgios
Jacobin magazine
 . . .

Faced with impossible demands, there were only two options left in the
government. First, to submit to the deepening of the economic
depression in Greece. Second, to turn to the people, either by
elections or by upholding a referendum.

Greek politics are now entering into a new, more divisive phase, which
deepens the political divisions of the so-called “memorandum” period.
Contrary to the demands of some European leaders and their political
proxies in Greece, the government has insisted that the proposed
question on the ballot is not about Greece’s place in the eurozone and
the EU.

The referendum is not an “in/out” or a “euro/drachma” referendum. The
wording of the referendum concerns the acceptance or rejection of the
latest deal proposed by the institutions...
 . . .

Podemos: "We stand firm on the side of democracy. We stand firm with
the Greek people."
For Verso blog by Sarah Shin / 01 July 2015

In view of the situation in Greece, and following the breakdown in the
negotiations by the Eurogroup, Podemos wishes to communicate the

1.- Last Monday, the Greek government presented a proposal to the
Eurogroup which included important concessions and was unanimously
welcomed by the lenders as being reasonable and viable. In the
following days, however, the international creditors led by the IMF
did not accept the Greek government’s proposal to tax the wealthiest
sectors of society, restructure the debt and launch an investment plan
to revive the economy. Instead, they demanded to raise VAT on basic
services and food and required further cuts on pensions and wages. In
their effort to demonstrate that there is no alternative to austerity,
the creditors only seem to accept the money of the poor, and insist on
imposing the same logic and measures that led the country into a
humanitarian disaster. The Greek economy is asphyxiated. To keep
strangling it is the precise opposite of what must be done.

2.- Facing such blackmail and extortion, the Greek government has
reacted to the ultimatum in an exemplary manner: by calling on the
people to decide their own future in a democratic and sovereign way.
Unlike the Spanish governments of 2011 and 2012, the Greek government
has refused to violate the popular mandate derived from the January
election. All the attempts at coercing, intimidating and influencing
this vote by unelected powers, especially by the European Central Bank
-which is willing to suffocate the Greek financial system to influence
the outcome of the referendum-, constitute a flagrant and unacceptable
violation of the democratic principle. We say that Europe without
democracy is not Europe: all democrats should join their voices in
denouncing these intolerable interferences and pressures. Democracy is
incompatible with letting unelected powers govern and decide for us.
It is democracy what is at stake.

3- With their intransigence, the creditors have demonstrated that they
have no interest at all in solving the Greek debt crisis; their aim is
rather to subject and overthrow a democratically elected government so
as to prove that there is no alternative to the politics of austerity.
Their blindness is such that they are willing to put at risk the
integrity and the stability of the financial system and the European
project itself, exposing them to speculative attacks whose price will
ultimately be paid also by the citizens of other countries. We will
say it once and again: they will be the ones to blame, they will be
responsible for the consequences of this disaster.

4- Syriza did not create the tremendous economic crisis that affects
Greece. It was the governments of New Democracy and PASOK, the friends
of our PP and PSOE, who falsified data and accounts, surrendered the
sovereignty of the country to the Troika, and handed Syriza an
economic and social catastrophe that is necessary and urgent to

5.- Many international actors have already distanced themselves from
the dogmatism of the creditors. Hundreds of thousands of people across
the world have expressed their solidarity with the Greek people in
their defense of the democratic principle. We demand that the Spanish
Government and the European institutions respect the sovereignty and
dignity of the Greek people, and that they consequently guarantee that
the referendum takes place in conditions of freedom and complete
normality. The democratic will and the fundamental rights of the Greek
people, which have been systematically attacked during the long years
of austerity, must be respected.

There are two contradictory fields in Europe: austerity and democracy,
the government of the people or the government of the market and its
unelected powers. We stand firm on the side of democracy. We stand
firm with the Greek people.

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