WITH his resignation as Greek prime minister on Thursday night, the leader of the ‘left’ Syriza government, Alexis Tsipras, has signalled that he and Syriza have done part 1 of the job that was asked of them by the bankers.
Nobody else, no other movement, could have brought in the savage cuts that the EU wanted, except Syriza, that won a 62% vote against austerity and had the confidence of the masses. Now having done that job, with their movement now split and broken up, Tsipras has opened up the door for the return of the right wing, to organise the state to push through all of the austerity measures, using state violence.
With his resignation, he has opened the door to the possibility that a new right-wing government could take power without an election. Under the Greek constitution, Tsipras’ resignation only seven months after the overwhelming victory of his ‘anti-austerity’ party means that the largest opposition party in the parliament is invited by the president to form a new government.
The right-wing conservative New Democracy Party may now be able to cobble together a coalition of extreme right-wing parties to take power and begin driving through the savage austerity measures demanded by the EU and ECB.
Syriza won last January’s election pledging to end austerity and to reverse the cuts to jobs, wages and pensions along with reversing the privatisation of state assets imposed under the dictatorship of the Troika (IMF, EC and ECB).
In the space of these seven months, Tsipras has caved in on every single issue, accepting austerity measures that are even worse than those proposed by the Troika before the election. The Troika and the banks tamed Syriza in days! They flushed Tsipras out as a treacherous left talker who would rather agree to implement austerity measures that will pauperise the entire Greek working class than fight the capitalist system.
Now Tsipras has opened the possibility of a reviled right-wing government taking over, either in a constitutional coup or after a snap election in September. With Syriza broken, and with only a United Left Front on offer (the remnants of the Syriza movement), if there is a general election, the right-wing parties will be going into it with a big advantage. This is that Syriza, which promised liberation from austerity, stabbed the workers in the back and delivered what the bankers wanted. It just cannot be trusted.
Tsipras is now trying to project himself to the Greek workers as a wounded hero who led a heroic but doomed struggle against the banks and Troika. In fact, he betrayed the votes of millions of Greek workers when victory was in sight after the referendum was won with a 62% majority. He and the various Syriza remnants are treating the masses with contempt and asking them to vote for a second robbery with violence.
This is the treacherous role reformism, in both its left and right varieties, plays today, not just in Greece but in every capitalist country including Britain. Reformism is completely bankrupt and offers nothing to the working class except betrayal and the opening up of the doors to the most reactionary movements. In Greece, this lesson is now being hammered home. It must be learnt all over the world, including in the UK.
There is no possibility of the austerity measures demanded by the Troika being implemented in any peaceful way by Tsipras or anyone else. They can only be forced on the working class through state violence. The lesson for the Greek working class and the working class of Europe is that there is no reformist solution to the capitalist crisis.
Only by workers seizing the power through the socialist revolution can the barbaric austerity regimes, designed to save the banks and profits of the capitalist class at the expense of the working class, be defeated.
This demands the building of a new revolutionary leadership within the working class in Greece and across Europe to fight the reformist treachery of parties like Syriza – the building of sections of the Fourth International prepared to lead the working class to the victory of the socialist revolution in Europe and throughout the world.