GREECE GENERAL ELECTION JULY 7th –after 4 years of EU-imposed austerity by ‘left’ Tsipras government

Local government workers on strike at the Finance Ministry with their banner depicting Tsipras with his 'austerity rabbit' producing more austerity measures

A GENERAL election is to be held in Greece on Sunday 7th July with the right-wing New Democracy party seemingly heading for a comfortable victory following four years of EU-ordered barbaric austerity implemented by the ‘left’ government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

In last month’s European Elections, New Democracy came top with 33% of the vote, while Tsipras’ party, the Coalition of the Left, trailed by 9%.

These elections were marked by the highest abstention rate since the 1970s.

The leader of the New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, insists that he and his party are the best people to faithfully carry out the EU’s Austerity Accords.

Mitsotakis has prioritised mass sackings of civil servants and privatisation of electricity, water, post, public transport and yet another ‘re-capitalisation’ of the bankrupt four Greek main banks.

Mitsotakis also aims to further curb trade union rights, building on Tsipras’ legislation which outlawed the calling of a strike by just a single trade union branch.

Tsipras’ regime, a parliamentary junta that rubber-stamped EU and IMF’s diktats, in June 2018 signed yet another Accord with the EU which chains Greece to direct Brussels rule.

Under this Accord every year to 2060 over 10% of Greece’s GDP will be paid to EU lenders, paying back the 220bn euros ‘bail-out’.

The EU’s domination over Greece is total.

All state income, including taxes, is managed by the State Independent Fund which is controlled by EU appointees with the right of a veto.

Last year Tsipras signed a law which passed all state properties (including hospitals, schools, museums, government building) to the Fund.

By law the Fund has the right to sell off any state property if the Greek government fails to pay up the annual billions of euros of the ‘bail-out’.

The ‘bail-out’ saved the Greek and European banks for the time being, but not the Greek economy and, financially speaking, privatisations deprive Greece of billions of annual income.

The income from the sell-offs does not even add up to the annual commitments of Greece to the ‘bail-out’ repayments.

Greek national debt is still on the rise estimated at 353bn euros, at 181% of the GNP and also still rising.

The ‘left’ Tsipras government also imposed wide-spread 8-month cheap labour schemes for the unemployed who are paid just 500 euros a month (about £450), and allowed private manpower companies to provide staff and workers at state enterprises (mostly in ministries and post) on ‘flexible’ working conditions and cheap rates of pay by the hour.

The Tsipras government also initiated the electronic auctions of homes, shops and farmers’ land, assisted by the truncheons and tear-gas attacks of the armed riot police.

The unemployment rate in Greece is at 19%, but is still at 40% for the 15-24 age group.

In reality, the unemployment rate is at least double if one calculates the half-a-million or so on cheap labour schemes.

The Tsipras government obeyed the EU’s commands and set up several concentration camps in the Aegean islands holding families of refugees and immigrants from the imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

Tsipras also flew to Israel and signed a natural gas deal with arch-Zionist Binyamin Netanyahu under the auspices of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In their struggle to defend their jobs and conditions, workers and youth in Greece are waging a historic struggle against the barbaric accords and the violence of the armed riot police, as well as against the totally cynical betrayal of their strikes and mobilisations by the national and sectional trade union bureaucracy.

In the run up to the general election, Greek workers are waging several important strikes in the banking, industrial and service sections.

Both the trade union leaders and the ‘left’ wing parties, such as the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the anti-capitalist bloc ANTARSYA, have refused to organise for the unification of the strike movement and to call for an Indefinite General Political Strike for the smashing of the accords and to topple the Tsipras government.

Nowdays, both the KKE and the ANTARSYA leaders are busy campaigning for the general election with the stated aim of getting as much vote as possible so that they will be stronger to face the new right-wing government of K. Mitsotakis.

Such is their perspective in the period of the colossal economic and political crisis in Greece, which stems from the worldwide death agony crisis of the outmoded capitalist system which heads humanity into a catstrophe.

In fact, neither the KKE nor the ANTARSYA leaders (they got 5% and 1% in the last general election) recognise the worldwide crisis, which is smashing up the EU, as being the character of our period.

In their publications they state that the working class in Greece has suffered a historic defeat and is not willing to fight.

They project their own pessimism onto reality.

In total contrast, workers, poor farmers and youth in Greece are furiously against the Tsipras’ SYRIZA party as well as against the right-wing New Democracy.

In the absence of a revolutionary Marxist party in Greece, they have voted and they will be voting by their feet.

The barbaric austerity imposed upon Greece by the IMF-EU is the ‘method’ by which bankers, speculators and industrialists are imposing in all the European Union countries.

Likewise, the enraged resistance of the working class in Greece is part of the uprising nature of the European workers’ mobilisations against unemployment, poverty and war.

The EU’s class war against youth and workers cannot be met and defeated by nationalist perspectives, nor can it be developed and be victorious without a clear call for the abolition of the EU and the overthrow of capitalism and for a workers’ government.

Such a political revolutionary programme must be fought out in the trade unions and wide layers of workers, youth, poor farmers and impoverished middle class who are facing generations of poverty and class violence.

It is a practice that aims to rapidly build a revolutionary party of the Fourth International in Greece in today’s revolutionary conditions on the international perspectives for the United Socialist States of Europe.