[Marxism] On Tsirpas

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 08:09:26 MDT 2015

> On Jul 6, 2015, at 4:41 AM, Stuart Munckton via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> Again the problem is this is read through a certain lens. And gets to the
> heart of what is a "sell out" etc. I think Tsipras genuinely wants a deal
> and is trying to get the best deal he can. that is what he says. that, for
> the matter, is what the supposedly "more hardline" Varoufakis says
> *repeatedly* whenever asked. I think the reason is a weighing up of the
> consequences of each decisions, combined with popular views.
> That is what they always said and everything they have done is in this
> direction. Of course, they won't do a deal *at any price*, as we have just
> seen. But I think this is weighing up the reality that a grexit is not
> necessarily automatically going to improve their position, and certainly,
> unless it is widely understood as the Troika's fault, could badly affect
> Syriza's standing. But also it is about understanding that there is no real
> way to improve their position without a breakthrough elsewhere in Europe,
> or with more more pressure across Europe on the ruling classes to force a
> backdown.
> Regardless of whether you think this approach is right or wrong, there is
> no "back down" from their *actual position* involved in offering
> concessions, or a "sell out". if you pretend to be one thing and do
> another, you may be a sell-out. But this is the course they have always
> advocated and, we have seen, they are willing to be very firm on the
> principles underpinning it -- even if we concluded the approach is
> strategically wrong.

My impression also. Concretely, I think the Tspiras leadership is seeking debt relief and an end to the vicious austerity which has smashed the living standards of the Greek masses as its immediate priorities. This requires the troika of creditors to write off and postpone interest payments far into the future and to allow more room for government spending by abandoning the current targets for primary budget surpluses, ie. fiscal "restraint".

In exchange, as the Tsipras letter leaked to the press last week indicated, it has promised to implement the nefarious  "structural reforms" demanded by euro-capitalism, beginning with lifting impediments to the employment of cheap, transient labour markets which would weaken the power of trade unions, rolling back pension benefits, raising consumption taxes (the VAT), and proceeding with the privatization of important public assets. However, these "reforms" require further elaboration, negotiation, and parliamentary approval and the devil will lie in the details, with the government seeking to fudge and soften their impact during this process, or at least hoping it can do so. The final shape these concessions will take will largely depend on the evolving relationship of forces within Greece and within the other debtor countries of the eurozone, within both the ruling and popular classes.

The troika has transparently behaved like an arrogant bullying employer supremely confident it could cow its workers and destroy any resistance by their not fully compliant union. Instead, it has provoked an angry worker backlash and the equivalent of a strengthened strike mandate to their union. Whether this miscalculation by the euro-capitalist hard-liners will result in an acknowledgement that some accommodation with Syriza is now necessary to stabilize the Greek situation and prevent the referendum example from inspiring resistance elsewhere in the eurozone remains to be seen.

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