Greek conservatives build ‘front against populism’


The Greek conservatives New Democracy party is building up a ‘pro-European front against populism’ with the aim of defeating the Coalition of the Radical Left party (SYRIZA) in the forthcoming general election on June 17.

On Monday the conservatives’ leader Antonis Samaras announced that the small neo-liberal party Democratic Alliance is joining his New Democracy.

Scores of ex-parliamentary deputies of the racist LAOS party are also joining New Democracy.

Opinion polls show that a good proportion of Golden Dawn voters, the fascist party that got seven per cent in last May’s election, are also switching to New Democracy.

But not so two other small neo-liberal parties, who instead have joined forces to contest the election hoping to get over three per cent of the vote and so elect parliamentary deputies.

Thus it is clear that the Greek ruling class, on orders from their EC-IMF overlords, are creating a most reactionary alliance to try and beat SYRIZA at the general election and move on to smash the labour and trade union movement and resistance in Greece.

SYRIZA’s leader Alexis Tsipras stated on Monday in Paris, where he met with the leaders of the French anti-capitalist party and of the Left group of the European Parliament, that ‘Samaras is a cheap imitation of Sarkozy’. Tsipras was to visit Berlin yesterday.

As the Athens stock exchange drops to late 1980s levels, by Tuesday losing some 15 per cent since the May 7th election, the Greek caretaker government is to go ahead with handing over to the four major and bankrupt Greek banks some 18 bn euros as ‘recapitalisation’.

The recapitalisation will be realised in the form of European Financial Stability Fund bonds enabling the Greek banks to borrow once again from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Last week the ECB suspended these Greek banks from funding operations because their capital ‘was too low’.

These banks were forced to obtain high-cost funding from the Bank of Greece’s ‘emergency programme’.

Thousands of workers participated in Athens last nightin a demonstration calling for the annulment of a law that abolishes collective agreements, thus forcing a huge cut in workers’ wages of between 20 and 40 per cent.

The mobilisation was called by the Coordination Committee of Trades Unions, which is opposed to the GSEE (Greek TUC) bureaucratic leaders, and for the first time SYRIZA have issued a call in support of the demonstration.