AFTER the failure of the major Greek political parties to form a government, Greece’s top Supreme Court judge, Vassiliki Thanou, has been appointed caretaker prime minister ahead of ‘early elections’ which are said to be scheduled to take place next month on September 20th or the 27th, according to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
The state, in the form of the Supreme Court, is now definitely in charge of Greece, after the historic betrayal of Syriza. This was the party that zoomed forward and rocketed into office on the basis that it would put an end to Greek austerity. The leftist movement no sooner took office than it began to negotiate a savage austerity deal.
PM Tsipras then called a referendum to give the working class the opportunity to reinforce the anti-austerity position. Workers duly obliged and gave Syriza 62% of the vote – a huge NO!
Having proven to the EU bankers that he still had the support of the working class, Tsipras – the day after the referendum – sold the working class out completely and agreed a new massive austerity programme that put EU Commissioners in charge of Greece.
He and Syriza had accomplished their historic mission. They had done what New Democracy and the Pasok could not do, delivered the full EU austerity programme to Greece. Only they could have done it.
If New Democracy and Pasok had attempted to carry it through there would have been massive revolutionary convulsions. With mission accomplished, Syriza was shattered, while its rump, plus the parliamentary right wing, forced through parliament full support for the Tsipras deal.
The PM then quit, his crisis-ridden government resigned and he called a general election. Having done his job he set out to hand back power to the right wing with the army and the police standing behind them.
Now the President has appointed as Prime Minister the President of the Supreme Court Vassiliki Thanou. She, in her turn, has begun appointing ministers with the Finance Ministry going to Giorgos Houliarakis, an academic who had been on Greece’s negotiating team during talks with creditors preparing the austerity programme!
The unelected caretaker regime is being formed with the date of September 20th being tossed about as the date of a new general election. In much more passive times the then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson declared that a week was a long time in politics.
In the revolutionary crisis that is engulfing Greece, the EU and the world a month is a lifetime – there are very big shocks ahead and there are huge shocks immediately ahead. The appointment of the judiciary to rule will be the closest that Greece is going to get to a parliamentary regime.
Meanwhile, if there is a general election, the idea that the masses, after being stabbed in the back by Tsipras, are going to vote for more of the same is being shattered. Having been the victims of the great betrayal the Greek workers and youth are not going to vote 62% or even 26% for more of the same treachery.
Earlier this week an opinion poll for Greece’s Vergina TV suggested support for Tsipras’s Syriza party had declined to 24%, down from 34% in July. New Democracy was in second with 22%, while the fascist Golden Dawn ranked third with 6%. Popular Unity, which split from Syriza, was put on 4.5%.
The lesson of the Syriza betrayal is that in a situation of capitalist crisis defeating savage austerity programmes is not a parliamentary issue, it is a revolutionary issue that demands that the working class take the power.
The Greek working class and the youth must build up their revolutionary leadership, a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, to mobilise the masses of the workers and the youth and the small farmers for a socialist revolution.
A general election is not going to settle the issue of austerity. Only a Workers and Small Farmers Government that expropriates the bosses and bankers, smashes up the capitalist state and then calls upon the workers of Europe to follow their lead can defeat austerity.
The Greek workers in the days ahead must launch this struggle with an indefinite general strike to prepare the way for workers power.