Left and EU in Greece and an historic challenge
From 2010, when Greece entered the Memorandum and the Troika surveillance, the historical problem of the Greek left has become obvious. The Greek Left had to encounter with a 40 years old option of the Greek bourgeois class. When the then Prime Minister Papandreou, who signed the country’s surrender to Troika ,raised the (real) question- memorandum or bankruptcy and leaving the euro, the Greek left gave misleading answers. The Communist Party declared that the true dilemma was whether the working class would socialize the monopolies. SYRIZA didn’t recognize the debt and supported that the problem was the redistribution of wealth and ANTARSYA called for demonstrations and protests against the unpopular measures. No one chose to answer the question. A unified political front for the cessation of payments and exit from the Eurozone instead of Memorandum and Papandreou government.
Today, five years later this case returns on a daily basis. At that time it was whether Greece would have entered the devastating memorandum. Today is whether Greece will come out of this cycle.
What is discussed in the media all over the world as the dilemma for Greece, the continuity- perhaps with some minor improvements- of the Troika surveillance or an alternative route of rupture with the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission, is not defined as such by the Greek left.
An alternative route, a starting point for which there can be nothing else but the cessation of payments for the debt, a debt that should not be and cannot be paid, and the exit of the Eurozone. All the above should be combined with the nationalization of the banking system and capital controls to answer the immediate liquidity problems.
SYRIZA’s leading team still claims that it is possible to achieve a compromise outside the Memoranda and, at the same time, that Grexit would be a disaster.
After these three months of negotiation, the Greek people have gained the experience and understood well that the rupture with the Memoranda and the austerity measures within the Eurozone is not a feasible policy. And the Greek people have great anger towards the European Union. At the same time, however, under the propaganda of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, we have to choose between a moderate choice (an honest compromise) and a disastrous selection (exit the Eurozone): the percentage of citizens that are in favor of remaining in the Eurozone at all costs (60%-70% before the elections) is rising in the polls( 75%-85% after the elections).
The Greek people took a conservative turn due to the fact that although they are furious at the EU authoritarianism, they do not see an alternative solution.
But who is able to express this alternative solution? Does an anti-EU Left exist in Greece?
The Communist Party (KKE), through its General Secretary D. Koutsoumpas, has stated that an exit form Euro now, without the support of the working class and the popular power, would be disastrous. More recently he claimed that the KKE would not support the government in case of a cessation of payments and an exit from the Eurozone without the parallel implementation of its economic program. In essence, for the last five years the KKE has been equating the rupture with the EU with some future dominance of itself and socialism.
SYRIZA’s Left Platform supports from 2011 that the solution to the Greek issue demands rupture with the Eurozone and the EU. But the last 7-8 months its central executives do not clearly speak that the alternative route requires the above mentioned rupture, as the media press them as to which is SYRIZA’s final position on this matter. Today, together with other SYRIZA’s executives they reacted in words against the agreement of the 20th of February and some began to speak again about the possibility of rupture. But on the other hand, with a public opinion that is gradually being prepared by the government’s leading team for a compromise, who would take responsibility to cause trouble or to throw such a government when it marches to a compromise and with the Right around the corner?
ANTARSYA, the other strength of the radical left with which we collaborated as MARS, constantly oscillates between inertia and the general anti-capitalist propaganda. In any case is far from having a convincing plan to raise the moral of the people, and to identify the rupture with the EU with a general anti-capitalist (?) subversion.
It is clear that an accidental rupture between Greece and its creditors is a possibility. But in politics, collisions do not happen automatically neither are they neutral. And more, for the collisions to benefit the people, a correlation of forces is required. Such a correlation is not built by the government rather it is deconstructed. Today the people, the government, the Left are in a worst position than a month ago or much more before the 20th of February. The conflicts cannot be included in Mr. Varoufakis game theories. Political and social subjects are required, with a plan, with preparation for the reactions of the European elite, with the appropriate initiatives in time. Today any such rupture (payment cessation to a partner in May) without the right preparation, without strong confidence, without government unity and people’s unity for the next steps, it can be used as the first step for a long and enforced capitulation. But this unity is today impossible.
Today the Greeks are angry with the European elite but also scared of a possible collision with it. But mostly they are on hold and hope for a compromise that at least won’t make things worst that today. The people do not longer expect big changes in solution for poverty and unemployment.
Today in Greece we have to build a political anti-EU movement and a political anti- EU front. The entrapment of such forces within SYRIZA, based either on the chaotic contradictions of SYRIZA either on the chaotic contradictions of the EU and that all these will lead “ objectively to rupture “ , removes more time and forces that are necessary for the creation of this movement. Five years now we have been betting a lot at random, at tactical issues, at conjuctural issues but we never designed the construction of this movement.
Today in Greece, there are several anti-EU powers and people, but it does not exist a political anti-EU front to guide the rupture with the Memoranda and the austerity, starting with the exit from the Euro. These forces are either scattered or paralyzed, with sectarianism outside and inside SYRIZA with a stalemate plan.
MARS is a new frontal left alliance of various forces trying to develop an anti-EU struggle today in Greece, beyond any sectarianism and anti-capitalist generalities. It is calling all anti-EU powers to structure a political front and a plan for rupture with the Eurozone and the EU. That is because without such a force no rupture can be achieved successfully, nor resistance nor the preparation against a disastrous compromise of SYRIZA government.