Tsipras throws down the gauntlet to the left

Alexis Tsipras has made a remarkable transformation- from a champion of the fight against austerity to witch-hunting the left within Syriza so he can push through more austerity. The strategy of treating the EU as ‘partners’ has led to a humiliating capitulation by the Syriza leadership.

Socialist Worker

Tsipras throws down the gauntlet to the left

Alexis Tsipras has made a remarkable transformation- from a champion of the fight against austerity to witch-hunting the left within Syriza so he can push through more austerity. The strategy of treating the EU as ‘partners’ has led to a humiliating capitulation by the Syriza leadership.

The Greek masses voted for the progressive Thessaloniki programme which has been discarded by Tsipras. The resounding ‘Oxi’ (No) vote in the referendum was a further endorsement given to a strategy of challenging the EU. The vote was especially strong in working class areas.

The Syriza leadership are now relying on the votes of the pro-austerity parties to push through new attacks on Greek workers. But the 24 hour strike called by the ADEDY public sector union on the day of the deal shows the potential for mass resistance.

Unfortunately the Left Platform within Syriza are prioritising the battle inside the party rather than prioritising the battle to organise on the streets and in the workplaces. The opposition within Syriza have called a ‘moratorium’ on the conflict over the memorandum and have declared that they will ‘not split’ from Tsipras.

This is a huge mistake. How can those who are implementing austerity and those who wish to oppose it exist in the same party? They will be pulling in opposite directions and it will disarm the movement against austerity if party unity is put above the interests of the resistance.

The Greek SWP are calling on all those opposed to the new cuts to unite and build the struggle on the streets and in the workplaces. The Syriza Left Platform must join other activists in building this united fightback against Tsipras and other austerity politicians- even if this means breaking from Syriza.

If elections are called the anti-austerity left needs to take as many seats as possible from the pro-memorandum left while using the election campaign to unite all resistance to the cuts into a serious front of struggle. Greek workers can act as an example for workers across Europe.

Most working class people want the left to unite – but the criteria for the effectiveness of unity has to be that it creates a radical left pole of attraction while raising the consciousness and combativity of workers. By these criteria Syriza is no longer fit for purpose. It’s time for Greek workers to break with Tsipras and rise up against austerity.

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