[Marxism] Red Flag reporter in Greece: Ruptures in Syriza, Greece and Europe

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 01:46:49 MDT 2015

Ruptures in Syriza, Greece and Europe
by Colleen Bolger
Red Flag (Socialist Alternative, Australia), July 12
 . . .
In a speech to parliament on Friday night, Tsipras argued that his
proposal delivered on his mandate to make an agreement to stay in the
euro currency zone. “I never asked the public for a no vote to mean a
Grexit or rupture”, he said. However, for millions of people, “no” was
a vote against austerity. A majority clearly do want to stay with the
euro. But the question is at what cost?

The fear of Grexit is real. If it transpires, the banking crisis will
come to a head quickly and cripple the everyday functioning of
society. There is an alternative, articulated by the Left Platform of
Syriza and the far left outside of the party. Measures such as
nationalising the banks and taking control of key industries could
ensure stability and that immediate human need is met. However, no
preparations have been made to this end. Tsipras’s insistence for the
last five months that it is not an option has contributed to the fear,
which is well founded, that Grexit would bring chaos. It also means
that a Grexit would be more chaotic than would otherwise have been the
 . . .
The two MPs, Ioanna Gaitani and Elena Psarea, from the Red Network,
which is grouped around the revolutionaries in the Internationalist
Workers Left, voted no in the parliamentary debate on Friday night.
That was a clear stand on a fundamental question: yes or no to more
austerity. According to Syriza central committee member Stathis

“Seven MPs of the Left Platform abstained, including its two most
prominent ministers (Panagiotis Lafazanis and Dimitris Stratoulis) …
Among them Marxist economist Costas Lapavitsas and Stathis Leoutsakos,
member of the political secretariat of Syriza. The four ministers will
resign in the next few days.

“Fifteen other MPs of the Left Platform … issued a statement
explaining they will vote yes in order not to deprive the government
of its majority at that stage, reject the proposed agreement as yet
another austerity package and warn that they will not vote any signed
agreement that includes austerity when it comes to parliament.”
 . . .
The editorial in today's edition of Avgi, the party paper, calls for a
new election to be held soon. This would allow Tsipras to increase his
majority and would discipline those MPs who abstained.

Elections would force a debate in the party, which would be expressed
in the district nominations and potential disendorsement of MPs who
refuse to hand out official party propaganda pushing the Tsipras line.
It would be the most intensely politicised election held since the
beginning of the crisis, coming on the back of the huge social
mobilisation for the no vote and at a crossroad for Syriza itself.

Alternatively, the German hardliners will win the day and push through
some sort of temporary exit. In such circumstances, the demands the
left have articulated with more force over the last few weeks – for
bank nationalisation and other measures to prevent shortages – will be
prescient. Tsipras may be forced to carry out the left’s proposals to
address the social crisis.

One sign of the volatility: a group of men in their 30s or 40s – a
truckie, a muso, a security guard and a waiter – drinking wine guffaw
that last week they were supporting Tsipras and now they’re supporting
Schäuble. They want the drachma back. More seriously, they say Tsipras
has been a disappointment to the 61 percent who voted, they thought,
against another memorandum.

It is impossible to predict what will happen in the next 48 hours, but
the last 48 hours has posed a new set of tasks for the left. People
who voted against austerity have watched as their victory has been
turned into its opposite. Tsipras has used his prestige to force
through another agreement.

Building opposition to the passage of a new memorandum is urgent. If a
clear stand is not taken by the left, all will be lost in the din.
Right now, people are straining to hear that an alternative is still

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