THE GERMAN parliament voted yesterday to extend the ‘bailout package’ to Greece by another four months, while in Greece workers erupted on the streets of Athens on Thursday night against the treacherous deal.
The extension, approved by creditors last week in exchange for a series of Greek ‘government reforms’, now needs to be ratified by eurozone members.
The ‘reforms’ are seen by the Greek working class as a complete betrayal by the new Syriza government.
Syriza was sworn in as the main government party exactly a month ago, promising to ‘renegotiate the country’s debt’ and ‘end austerity’.
Called to oppose Syriza’s betrayal, a demonstration of some 500 workers and youth marched through the city centre of Athens on Thursday night despite heavy rain, carrying banners calling for Greece to leave the EU and for its debt to be cancelled.
Furious Greek workers hurled petrol bombs and stones at police and set cars alight after the march.
The march was organised by the anti-capitalist formation Antarsya.
The Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) are participating in the marches and rallies.
In a statement the RML said:
‘l No to the austerity accords extension agreement!
‘l Workers must build revolutionary leadership!
‘l Write-off the debt, no payments to bankers, nationalise the banks!
‘The European Union leaders have acted with a vengeance against Greek workers and youth so as to show to the rest of European workers what they would suffer if they dare challenge austerity.
‘The Syriza-Anel government attacks will be now intensified under the extension of the austerity accords.
‘Now the working class, youth, small farmers and professionals must be mobilised to demand that Syriza carries out its election promises of wage rises and the re-opening of the shut down ERT state TV and radio corporation.
‘They pledged to reinstate all sacked women cleaners, school guards and teachers who have been fighting for nearly two years to get their jobs back.
‘In the general election Greek workers overthrew the austerity accords. They must not let the Syriza-Anel government bring austerity back.
‘Workers, youth and small farmers must march forward and build Popular Assemblies (Councils of Action) in every area with a programme to meet workers’ needs, for the write-off of the public debt, no debt payments to bankers.
‘Workers must demand the nationalisation of all banks and basic industries through occupations and political strikes.
‘They must also demand abolition of the riot police and the formation of workers’ defence squads.
‘Only the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of workers’ power can solve the crisis. The RML-Greek section of the 4th International must be built as a mass revolutionary party to lead the struggle for a workers and small farmers’ government, for withdrawal from the EU and NATO, for a federation of the Socialist United States of Europe.’