[Marxism] another Antarsya view on post-referendum Greece; Paul Mason on establishment referendum repression

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 23:27:29 MDT 2015

[My understanding is that the views of the FI are not necessarily
strictly those of its member organization in Greece, OKDE-Spartakos
which is part of Antarsya, partly because the FI maintains a friendly
working relationship with the ISO of the U.S. which is connected with
the DEA (Internationalist Workers Left) which is part of the Red
Network and the Left Platform within Syriza. dayne]

The victory of the "no" announces decisive battles against the Troika
by Secretariat of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International (July 7)
International Viewpoint, July 8
 . . .
Whereas Syriza had won 2.2 million votes in January, the "no" gathered
3.5 million votes, with a turnout one per cent less than in January.
Even adding on the voters of ANEL and part of those of the fascist
Golden Dawn (which called for a "no" vote), the polarization around
Syriza brought more than 600,000 votes, accentuating the crisis of the
Greek representatives of the Troïka, New Democracy (ND), PASOK and To
Potami. The crises of PASOK and ND were accentuated, symbolized by the
resignation of their leaders within a few days of each other. The hope
of the Troïka, echoed by all the media, of seeing a “respectable”
government take over quickly went up in smoke.

The European leaders have just lost a second round in Greece. Having
worn out the traditional parties over five years by an unbearable
pressure on the Greek people, they hoped that the arrival of Syriza in
January would be a brief interlude of a few weeks before the return of
"serious people" to head Greece. After the retreat by Tsipras at the
time of the agreement on February 20, they gambled on a quick
surrender, and at the end of June, they counted on a victory of the
"yes." Merkel and Hollande made the calculation that thanks to the
strangulation of the banks, the referendum would bring Tsipras to his
knees, forcing him to resign or to submit.

As the third round begins, the reasoning is the same: after the shock
of their defeat, the European leaders are bouncing back with their
usual arrogance. They say that they "respect" the vote of the Greek
people, while announcing that they will not take account of it. They
do not intend to change their policies in any way, and for them the
cancellation of the debt, or even debt relief, is not a subject to be

There are voices in the camp of the capitalist leaders in favour of
accepting at least a partial abandonment of the debt: the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) itself recognizes the absurdity of
asking Greece to strangle its economy and increase its debt to
reimburse the institutions. The US administration is also concerned
that pushing Greece out of the euro zone could create both a crisis of
the European Union as a whole and a risk of a geostrategic shift on
the borders of Europe.

But Angela Merkel and the European leaders want to impose a political
defeat on the Greek people and their government. Agreeing to cancel a
300 billion euro debt is clearly not an economic problem: the European
Central Bank (ECB) is going to create and inject 1,100 billion euros
into the European economy by the end of 2016 to counter deflation.

It is a political choice, because for them it is out of the question
to accept that a people, by its sovereign choice, can refuse to
implement the decisions of the European institutions.

The proof has just been given to everyone that the European Union and
its institutions are not a neutral space or framework. They are
political constructions, organized by the capitalists in order to
escape from any popular control in the implementation of their
interests. This construction will not be reformed. It is illusory to
seek to conduct an alternative policy while accepting the sovereignty
of these autocratic institutions.

Therefore, in the coming days, with a new relationship of forces, the
alternative for the Greek government will be the same as in the
previous weeks: accept an agreement that continues and worsens the
attacks against the population or take another road, that of a radical

...The policy of the "international institutions" was overwhelmingly
rejected last Sunday. As a result the mandate from the Greek people is
unambiguous: it expresses a radical rejection of an agreement that
prolongs unemployment, poverty, the dismantling of social rights and
public services.

This mandate requires the termination of the payment of the
illegitimate and odious debt, a path that, with the nationalization
and control of the banking system, gives the Greek people sovereignty
over its political, economic and social choices. These are the choices
expressed by the Greek left, mainly the left of Syriza and the
activists of Antarsya, who contributed to the victory of the “no”.
 . . .

Calm defiance giving way to panic as Greek deadline looms
by Paul Mason
Channel 4 News blog, England, July 8
 . . .
Ms A works [at] a private sector job. Her bosses pressured everybody
at work to vote yes, she tells me. When she told them she would vote
no, the bullying became intense. It’s a non-union workplace, and half
her wages come “off the books” so there’s no HR department to go to.
Now, after the no victory, she’s been told not to come into work and
will not be paid.
. . .
Ms C voted no. She is supposed to take unpaid holiday each August,
keeping her job effectively non-permanent, by arrangement. But now she
has to take July off as well. Unpaid.
. . .
Here, with the barbecue smoking and the pot-plants withering in the
summer heat, in a tiny apartment in a nondescript suburb, is the
Greece whose fate will be decided on Sunday.

They are not surprised to be powerless. They’re a small country with a
delinquent ruling elite. Nor are they surprised that, finally, after
months of saying it was impossible, half the Eurozone is preparing to
kick them out.

The only thing they’re surprised by is that Tsipras did not cave in.
We’ll see if that lasts until Sunday night.

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