Workers angry at Syriza retreat!

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Greek workers have been demanding ‘not one step backwards’ in the struggle against EU austerity
Greek workers have been demanding ‘not one step backwards’ in the struggle against EU austerity

ON Wednesday morning, the Greek government announced that it will be making an application to the Eurogroup for an extension of the loan agreement, that is the bail-out of austerity accords, for six months in a letter to Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

On Tuesday night in Brussels, the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had said that the Greek government, ‘ought to extend the loan contract by a few months so that we have enough stability to negotiate a new agreement between Greece and Europe’.

He added that, ‘obviously there will be three or four conditions,’ but did not elaborate. On Wednesday morning the Athens Stock Exchange shot up by three per cent.

This is a complete submission by the Greek government to EU diktats as spelled out forcefully at the last Eurogroup meeting on Monday.

Despite statements such as ‘we will not give in to ultimatums’ the Greek government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has given in, only a day after the Eurogroup meeting, in complete opposition to the electoral promises to Greek workers that the austerity agreements were ‘dead’.

Realising the anger that this decision would create amongst Greek workers, the government said that it seeks to sign a six-months-only ‘loan agreement’ with the EU, not a continuation of the austerity bail-out agreement. But this is quite unlikely to be accepted by the EU leaders.

On directions from Germany, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem will seek the total submission and humiliation of the Greek government to demonstrate to all in the EU that there is no other road but savage austerity.

• The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that his party SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) is proposing the veteran conservative politician Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a law professor, as the new President of the Greek Republic.

Tsipras’ proposal has disappointed and angered Greek workers and youth.

Several SYRIZA leading members and organisations have called for a left presidential candidate as demanded by Resistance hero Manolis Glezos.

Speaking to SYRIZA’s parliamentary group on Tuesday, Tsipras said the decision to nominate the former conservative Cabinet Minister (2004-09) ‘reflected the need for political and social consensus’.

Pavlopoulos was a conservative New Democracy party parliamentary deputy up to the last election and he voted for all savage austerity accords and laws in the 2010-2014 period.

The Vouli (Greek parliament) was scheduled to vote on the proposal on Wednesday evening. To be elected, Pavlopoulos needs 180 votes.