A. The developments
The EU finds itself in the heart of the crisis, wounded as never before. The diverging strategies and the explosion of the contradictions within the EU and the Eurozone (European Monetary Union) may lead the course of the “European integration adventure” to unanticipated consequences. While the integration formally advances, in reality it sheers off. The hegemonic role of German imperialism and the insolvable interconnection of the EU institutions with the most parasitic and rapacious financial capital reveal today more and more clearly the real nature of the EU: an absolutely anti-democratic, anti-social, aggressive, barbaric and cynical imperialist construction.
The EU is internationally in the vanguard of the application of the harshest neoliberal policies against the working masses. The EU prostitutes the concept of independence and of popular sovereignty. The EU rapidly deviates from any degree of democratic legality that it was until recently claiming to have from the electorate. The EU offers whole countries as sacrifice to the altar of the markets. The EU tries to impose anti-labour experimentations to the whole continent.
A.1. The confession of the Greek bankruptcy
What falls apart today is not only the policy of the two main bourgeois parties, the right-wing “Nea Dimokratia” and the social-liberal “Pasok”, but the whole course of the Greek bourgeoisie during the last three decades. The de-construction of the production, the economic disintegration, the social regression, the regimes of tutelage and of economic occupation are not at all “mistakes” of the last years, nor were they provoked by the global capitalist crisis.
The actual impasse is a bankruptcy pre-announced by thirty years of transformation of the country into an exemplary model of modern compradorism, suffocatingly tied to the imperialist centers. A model that declared war against the production, because in that way it could obtain easy profits for the ruling class. The actual impasse is a bankruptcy pre-announced by the imposition of the infernal debt machine and of the dependence, by imposing to the people an increasing financial tribute paid during decades to the international capital markets. The neoliberal amok of the public wealth banditry, of selling-out the national property, of profits’ privatization and of losses’ nationalization: this is the policy that brought the country in the actual situation. The regime of tutelage by the IMF, the European Central Bank and the markets is a natural conclusion of the dependence by imperialism.
The problem of Greece is not fiscal. It is a problem of productive destruction and de-composition, which today results to a fiscal and debt loop. We are facing an absolute coincidence of the Greek economy with compradorism (the tertiary sector actually represents 80% of the GDP), which is fully depended by the banking expansion (building construction) and/or by the international economy (tourism). And of course we are also facing an impressive collapse of the balance of payments. The development of Greece during the previous period must not be examined through the percentage of the GDP increase, but through its qualitative features: an insecure, ramshackle, self-mined development that increased enormously the class and social divergences.
Today’s outcome is absolutely related to the course of Greece in Europe, and more specifically to its entrance in the Eurozone. The productive disintegration in the name of the free market, the huge increase of the disparity between center and periphery, the increasing deficits in the balance of payments, the fiscal asphyxiation, the neoliberal strait-jacket of the Stability Pact and the permanent and non-negotiable choice of the Greek political personnel to continuously put all the burden on the society: all these policies led to the creation of this model, which is actually collapsing.
The loop roped around Greece’s throat was to be expected: despite the books’ manipulations, the numbers did not and do not come out. The deficit of 30 billion euros and the interest payments of around 15 billion euros yearly (with the sinking funds transferred from one year to another through an extremely usurious refinancing) cannot be faced off, especially in conditions of international financial crisis and of increasingly onerous new lending.
The unconditional surrender of Greece to the IMF is imminent and underway, despite the government’s assurances to the contrary. But even with this “mechanism of support” the collapse just takes a short new lease of life. And of course the regime of international tutelage and control becomes complete and official. The bourgeois parliamentary democracy now reveals fully its fake character, as the decisions are adopted elsewhere. The most nightmarish scenarios of the post-election period are confirmed daily, one after the other, while the society sinks in an unprecedented asphyxia. And the worse is still to come.
At the same time, the developments in the field of economy and of society are provoking broader repercussions. The new episodes of the Aegean Sea’s surrender to NATO’s control are showing that the increase of the foreign control and dependence by the imperialists will bring along broader pressures and dangerous tensions in our region.
A.2. Bankruptcy of the government and of the whole political system
The government’s management, apart its more general responsibility for the actual situation, has also gone bankrupt as far as its recent conducts are concerned. After each “big success” of the Pasok government, as it was greeted by the mainstream Media, the lending becomes even more unbearable and its possibilities become rapidly exhausted. The “support mechanism” is completely insufficient and unable to fill the fiscal and lending holes under the present conditions of productive collapse. Even by the measures of a pro-market, pro-capital, anti-people government, the government of Papandreou is a complete failure, despite the impressive and full support it receives by the mainstream Media. That is to say, we actually have a government composed by simple employees of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF, which is totally incapable to line the slightest policy that could win or save anything. However, this is a secondary aspect.
The basic element is that this government is completely and consciously aligned with the demands of the imperialist powers. This is a government fully and doubly subordinated to the interests of the big imperialist centers in both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. And it is totally committed to the failed model of the last decades’ “development”, which led to the actual collapse. This government must be fought against, must be the target of the huge popular majority, which is threatened today with annihilation. We must work in order to make the conditions ripe for throwing out this government, through the elaboration of a progressive, popular, left way out.
Moreover, what is also revealed today is the bankruptcy of the whole political system: the bankruptcy of policies, fake visions, once upon a time famous politicians, bourgeois parties and governments. It is the bankruptcy of all those forces referring to the notions of “center-left” or “center-right”, which converged in “national aims and visions” that inevitably led to today’s impasse. But, also, it is the bankruptcy of a Left that either supposedly contested the “old dogmas” or mechanically reproduced slogans, thus loosing the possibility to confront the enemy, to express the people, to take political initiatives – and was in that way led to its subordination to the “modern” bourgeois dogmas, or, in the best case, to the inability to oppose them in a convincing way.
B. For another Greece in another Europe
Today we must open a central debate about the course that Greece must follow. This is a struggle directly related to the identity and the perspective of the country. This is a big confrontation between a system that belies and crushes itself, crushing along with it the society as well, and the need to overcome this system. Even if today this need is still not realized by a majority, the issue of the country’s and of the people’s global course is objectively on the table. Thus, we support:
- The immediate overthrowing of the tutelage and international control regimes, of the economic asphyxia and of the social demolition, and first of all the overthrowing of the IMF-ECB yoke.
- A course of reconstruction having as central points the exit from the Eurozone, the renegotiation of the foreign debt, and a series of measures protecting the public interest.
- A middle-term plan of productive and economic reconstruction in favour of the working people.
- The coordination and cooperation of peoples, movements and fronts aiming at a democratic and progressive change in Europe.
B.1. The IMF, out of Greece
The “support mechanism” of the Eurozone, in which the IMF will have a prominent role with still unknown parameters, will prove to be the worse of all the previous “solutions”. The country and the working people are condemned in a protracted asphyxia, with successive measures that will accompany each installment of the “aid”. The measures adopted until today allow the activation of the mechanism, but the financial markets and our “saviors” are considering them absolutely insufficient for the execution of the plan. The implication of the IMF means that the governmental power is now formally transferred outside Greece, and that the actual Greek political personnel will be either considered as expendable or it will serve exclusively as spokesman of the real governors. The actual government is fully responsible for this development and must account for shredding apart the last remnants of bourgeois democracy, for leading the country from bad to worse, for putting the working people in front of the firing squad.
B.2. Exit from the Eurozone
The entrance of Greece in the European Monetary Union and the adoption of euro have been greeted with huge celebrations. The “powerful Greece” which “is now protected against any international economic and financial tempests” and will be able “to serve the public debt under the most favorable conditions” because it has the “protective shield of euro” (and many more such dithyrambic affirmations) have today been demolished. The “protection” offered by the euro has become a pile of breakages and flinders, as we live the biggest postwar economic wobble and social regression.
The entrance in the Eurozone proves more and more, day by day, to be a plumb. It may have not provoked the actual economic impasse; however the EMU has increased it dramatically, and deprived the country of critical tools for its defense. Basic rules of the EMU, such as the interdiction for a member state to trade bonds directly with the European Central Bank, the interdiction of solidarity with member states, the non-existence of mechanisms of ultimate support, and last but not least the Stability Pact itself, have sent the country in front of the firing squad of the financial markets.
The only positive aspects of the euro (the low interest rates and the strong currency) triggered a nominal development; but at the same time these aspects covered the distorted, undermined, insecure and (over all) unequal character of this development. Furthermore, they hushed the collapse, only to end up as a boomerang through the over-debting and the over-lending. The euro excluded the devaluation of the national currency, but accelerated the devaluation of the labor force value, the depreciation of the salaries, the degradation of the living standards and of the labor relations.
The exit of Greece from the Eurozone, the recovery of the monetary and fiscal policy, the recovery of the ability to draft and execute national budgets, are a precondition for any effort aiming at a productive, social and economic reconstruction that will be led by radically different priorities. Such an effort presupposes (but also creates) new correlations of power. It won’t be an easy path, but it will be the only one that will not end in a new crushing of the society – on the contrary, such a path will lead into a social palliation.
B.3. Renegotiation of the debt
The actual economic and social asphyxiation is owed to productive and economic impasses piled up during three decades. The debt amortization under the present fiscal situation becomes mathematically impossible. Even if the interest rates decrease (a development that seems not at all likely), and/or if the new lending by the “support mechanism” has interest rates slightly lower than those of the market, the obligations of the next five years are extremely onerous.
The renegotiation of the debt can save huge resources, which until now are bulging each week the portfolios of the international financial capital. Such a renegotiation is the most effective shield against the bankruptcy (which in reality has already happened, despite the fact that it has not been announced, in order to secure the continuous death toll offered by the public funds to the financial markets). Such a renegotiation of the debt must be accompanied by the nationalization of the banking sector, the drastic control over the capitals’ traffic and, above all, by a long-term plan of productive reconstruction.
Extracts from the communiqué of the Leading Committee, 16 April 2010