Greek referendum: OXI/No | Solidarity with the Greek People
As Socialist Worker went to press Greece was heading for a referendum on the proposals made by the Troika as a condition for extending the so-called ‘bail-out’.
The Tsipras government was forced into calling this referendum. It had done its very best to reach agreement with what it called its ‘European partners’, even to the point of agreeing to cuts of €8 billion and the continuation of austerity but this did not satisfy the Troika.
Instead they presented to Greece a series of demands that were so extreme that they resembled the conditions imposed on a country that had been comprehensively defeated in war and had surrendered unconditionally. These terms have not been much publicised in the media which has tried to focus on Greece’s supposed unreasonableness.
But they were both utterly draconian and extraordinarily detailed including demands that specified large increases in VAT, cuts in pensions, cuts in wages, privatisation of key utilities, limits on the right to strike, rejection of collective bargaining all the way down to the level of TV licenses.
This blatant blackmail has been backed by financial terrorism cutting off funds and forcing the closure of the banks. The EU institutions and the IMF are trying to crush any idea of a democratic alternative to austerity.
It is clearly of the utmost importance that there is a resounding NO vote (the Greeks say OXI and the term evokes wartime resistance to fascism) but a simple No vote is not enough. It will strengthen the hand of Tsipras but it will not resolve the underlying crisis.
There needs to be a mass social movement from below – for a NO vote, but for more than that:
* For Nationalisation of the Banks to stop the ECB and the rich crashing the economy.
* For Cancellation of the Debt to stop the Greek people paying for crisis of the system.
* For a clear break with the Troika and the EU to end their neoliberal dictatorship to the Greek people.
* For moving towards workers control of industry to stop sabotage by the rich.
In the last weeks there have been increasing protests and strikes by Greek workers and there was even serious talk in the trade unions of a general strike.It was this growing mood of resistance that pushed Tsipras away from further surrender.
This needs to intensify. This is what will ensure a massive NO in the referendum and really force the Troika to back off. It will also point the way towards a better society and better future for the Greek people breaking with the tyranny of capitalism.
At every stage in this struggle the Greek working class are entitled to ask for and receive the solidarity of all working people in Ireland and everywhere. The EU ‘institutions’ are not the friends of the Greek people and they are not our friends either. But the struggle of the Greek people is our struggle!
A NO vote and mass revolt in Greece will be a blow against Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Troika against the Greek people and against the Irish people.