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Greece’s anti-systemic anti-Euro left’s relation to Syriza

Public statement of Paremvasi regarding the Greek elections of the 25th of January 2015

10. February 2015

The anti-Euro coalition Antarsya-Mars scored 0.64% in the last election. Following we publish an evaluation by one component of the coalition.


1. The victory of a party of the left and the defeat of the hateful coalition forces of ND-PASOK and those managed the Memoranda of the last four years (GAP, LAOS, DIMAR) are very important developments and the positive outcomes of the elections. The forces that pushed the people into economic devastation, that humiliated, fooled and belched the people, they received a powerful blow. The rates, however, of ND did not precipitate, we did not have a collapse of the same type as PASOK, and the ND will be the main political pole of the bourgeois interests, along with the Nazi party, which remains strong despite its downturn, and constitutes a significant force to the right-extreme right of the political system.

2. We had a pre- electoral period, in which the winner was already known and the results expected. The results were reasonably expected in the sense that the slogan “let them go”, both as a request of punishment of the pro- memoranda political forces and as an immediate solution in order “to breath”, formed the mainstream. It was expected since lenders did not provide Samaras with a way out, accompanied by concessions, and prescribed since the enactment of ENFIA onwards.

3. SYRIZA won the elections, expressing this stream of punishment and assignment. The expectations of society but also the new governmental program itself involve small improvements, a brake on austerity and a partial relief of the impoverished layers. The people did not vote for SYRIZA expecting spectacular twists and changes. SYRIZA did not put on the agenda of its program policies that respond to the unemployment or policies for yearly and widely accepted requests (public health for everybody, recovery of the privatized infrastructure, repealing TAIPED), let alone it did not pose anything that concerns a policy of productive social reconstruction. It did not pose a comprehensive program for the crisis for the benefit of the people. It invested in the low expectations, not in the radicalization and the politicization of the people, but basically to the expression of the “let them go” demand. The fact that people do not expect major changes and reversals is a negative and not an objective development. The popular spirit of 2012 was different, open to greater incisions and conflicts. This morale was not radicalized, SYRIZA to be named as the main responsible for this, which for two years developed the logic of “waiting to fall” and altered its positions considering the Memorandum, the debt, the Euro and the domestic system. This policy was electorally rewarded, but in terms of ideology and movement, it brought a political setback. Of course SYRIZA is not the only responsible, as the remaining forces of the left did not take initiatives to interact with the stream of the society, which demanded from the former government “to go away”, and to try to radicalize. This meant primarily the formation of a social and a political frontal cooperation of forces on the basis of a program of transitional and immediate demands of the overturning of the memoranda and out of the crisis, in favor of the people, another way of speaking than usual KKE and the extra-parliamentary Left and severe tactics towards SYRIZA.

4. Attention should be paid to external reactions to the victory of SYRIZA. The Social democratic parties that co- govern the EU of austerity (Hollande, Schulz) welcomed the advent of Tsipra as a “hope.” The right-wing Le Pen welcomed positively this result. The German leadership is first waiting for the guarantees agreed. Since the European elections in 2014 it is known that the two major European factions (whose representatives in Greece are ND and PASOK) face problems deriving from two political currents. The first and strongest derives from a far-right, nationalist-stream, mainly expressed in the European center (Le Pen-France, Faradje-M. Britain, nationalist parties in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, and as such should be seen the rhetoric of Berlusconi in the shadow of Grillo in Italy). The second is considering currently SYRIZA and Podemos. They both ‘react’ to austerity policies and the way of functioning of the EU, though from a different perspective… The greater the decline and recession in the EU, the bigger the nationalist and left critics that will create problems in the EU construction and the Eurozone. The structural problems of the euro are shouting, part of which sought to be healed by Draghi through the recent Bond Bying program. The EU and the Eurozone are politically and economically sick. The European Centre lacks the unity and self- confidence they had in 2010, when it applied an “iron frame” and sent ultimatums to the then governments of Greece, Ireland and the PIIGS. SYRIZA will have its time and the European leadership will make its moves, believing that SYRIZA at the levels of government, ideology, policy and leadership will seek for a compromise – even a painful one – and not for a rupture with the European center. That it is a party that gradually and with minor concessions and improvements will accept the basic European framework of neo-liberal, neo-colonial and austerity policies (even in a more “human” guise). SYRIZA objectively and programmatically seems to be heading towards a policy that stabilizes rather than overturns.

5. The government of “national and social salvation” together with ANEL and the remnants of GAP (George Papandreou) and DIMAR as well as the opening towards the neoliberal POTAMI are not the “accidents” of the numbers. It was the change of direction since 2012, when the motto that launched SYRIZA to 27% was the “government of the Left.” This slogan was consciously transformed into the government “national salvation”. And it goes without saying that the choice of forces someone would choose to go with is related to what policy he wants to implement. Tsipras and the leadership, under the motto of the “government of national and social salvation”, have paved the way for Kammenos for two years now, to fish in the waters of the anti-memorandum votes and to “hold Alexis” back. The nature and character of the government were preordained. They are a rebuttal to those who vied the government of the Left as a step towards the political struggle to broader disruptions with the system and the imperialism.

6. The result of the political cooperation of ANTARSYA-Mars is better than the expected one, before the looming stealing of the left vote from SYRIZA. Tens of thousands of political militants chose to “swim against the stream” and to form and hold a space, which – if is manages to make the necessary incisions with its past – will have irreplaceable and decisive role in the coming period. Because it can have a clear vision and policy for the nature of the crisis and the severity of the problem called the EU. This space will be able to answer the dilemmas and ultimatums of the lenders, because it will continue to defend the basic demands and goals of the Left. In terms of tactics and in this specific occasion, it can be considered as a positive result. In terms of historical development and strategy, the result reveals a Left lacks ambitions and expectations. This part of the Left made the last moment before the elections a small positive step. But, “historically speaking”, it is currently on the margins and far away from the society. That is because during the political gaps that have been occurring for five years now (MoU signature, squares movement, elections of 2012, extortion from the ECB in Cyprus, European elections of 2014) its inability to form a front that will lead the way out of the crisis constantly disappointed and disarmed militants or it sent then to SYRIZA and wasted political and social forces, time and space.

7. The people today is happy and this alone is a positive fact. 43% in total of voters that voted for the Left forms a new national audience and gives opportunities to a truly anti-systemic Left. Not because this alone will lead to a radicalization. The other way around. The policy of “low expectations” and appeasement of the system that SYRIZA follows leads to a moderation of the popular beliefs. Whether this new environment will lead to the radicalization of the people and to larger fractures with the system and not to fully integration to the system is related to:

a) The ability of the anti-systemic Left to form a front.

b) The emergence of demands and objectives into the social spaces that will sharpen the contradictions of SYRIZA and politicize the people. Not only in terms of economic demands but rather the organization of social fronts in the workplaces and in the neighborhoods against the dominant problems: unemployment, stagnation of production, the youth.

c) A different way of speaking and a different shape that will manage to communicate and interact with the 43% that voted for left but originate from other political streams.

d) Substantive opposition to SYRIZA in terms of political program and social movement over “the red lines”: the tendency of SYRIZA to accept and integrate to the European framework, the direction of signing a new “improved” Memorandum Loan Agreement, the minimization of the requests for conflict with the plutocracy, the direction towards a more “human” management of the system and not its total overthrow.

The most important of all is to have action beginning from today, and not to wait to see what kind of agreement will be signed between Tsipras and the EU six months from now.