THE Greek government decided on Saturday to accept all terms laid down in a statement agreed at last Friday’s Eurogroup Finance Ministers’ meeting that extends by four months the hated austerity accords.
Greece must submit today a series of ‘reform measures’ to be carried out which must be approved by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – the troika of overlords.
This will be considered as the ‘conclusion’ of the troika’s ‘review’ of the current austerity ‘programme’ that ends on 28 February.
The extension terms are to be ratified by April. Until then Greece will not receive any funds. Negotiations for a new long term programme will start then.
Friday’s Eurogroup statement emphasised that, ‘the Greek authorities commit to refrain from any rollback of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms’ that have been implemented as part of the austerity programme.
This is a total capitulation by the Greek government to the EU-IMF diktats and a complete betrayal of the electoral promises by SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) to Greek workers and youth.
The Greek Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras appeared on national television on Saturday to state the ‘important success’ of Greece’s negotiations with the EU and claimed ‘the end of austerity and the bailout’!
SYRIZA was elected on the basis that it would get rid of the austerity accords and the troika, not extend them!
Now the right-wing parties in Greece are jubilant. As for the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the anti-capitalist coalition ANTARSYA they have issued statement against SYRIZA’s capitulation but they are refusing to mobilise workers against the EU’s black-mail and SYRIZA’s submission.
The Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) called on workers and youth to demonstrate on Sunday evening in Athens and throughout Greece setting up in the squares Peoples Assemblies to discuss and decide on a programme to fight against the new austerity accords.
As Tsipras was making his TV declaration, a demonstration calling on the Greek government to disband the concentration camps for migrants and refugees was attacked by riot police with tear gas last Saturday at the Amygdaleza suburb of Athens.
As the 800 demonstrators entered the concentration camp’s area, riot police squads pushed them back with their shields.
In the last ten days, three young migrants have died at the concentration camps in Athens and Salonica. Last week the Public Order Deputy Minister Panousis visited the Athens ‘detention centre’ and expressed his shock at the appalling conditions. Panousis promised that the concentration camps will be closed down in 100 days.
The demonstration was called by the Open Initiative Against Retention Centres which is demanding the closing down of all concentration camps.
The Revolutionary Marxist League, the Greek section of the Internatioal Committee of the Fourth International stated yesterday: ‘SYRIZA has betrayed the electoral promises and hopes of workers, youth, small farmers and shopkeepers who voted them into government.’
It called on the working class and youth to demonstrate outside the Vouli (Greek parliament) Sunday evening.
It stated: ‘The submission of the SYRIZA-ANEL government to the EU, and the election of a conservative Greek Republic President proposed by SYRIZA, puts the government on the other side of the barricades to the workers, youth, the unemployed and the poor!
‘The conflict of the SYRIZA-ANEL government with the working class has begun and workers must be mobilised against SYRIZA’s submission and betrayal.
‘Workers must demand the immediate realisation of SYRIZA’s promises of a 751 euros minimum monthly wage, the opening of the ERT state TV and radio corporation, the reinstatement of all sacked cleaners, school guards, university administrative staff and others.
‘All out in the squares this Sunday evening to set up Peoples Assemblies to discuss a programme for action.
• Write off all public debt!
• No payments to the ECB, IMF and international bankers!
• Nationalise all banks and basic industries!’