In any case, the risk has not vanished for Cypriot workers. The Greek Cypriot ruling class has been found on its own responsibility at a dead end, between the Troika and the blackmail of Russia which requires access to the island’s resources. Whether in the name of stability of the euro, or in the name of deposits of Russian oligarchs, employees and workers are likely to be forced to pay the bankruptcy of Cypriot banks and the “Cyprus development model”, by sacrificing their rights, wages and pensions and by mortgaging the natural and energy sources of Cyprus to lenders and to the capitalist energy giants.
We have no reason to feel sorry for this development because:
1. The plan is reactionary and unjust, because it doesn’t charge the big capital and the big incomes, but distributes the weight of the crisis in all classes and social groups. Neither all deponents are capitalists, nor are all responsible for the crisis. Even relatively large deposits may not originate from capitalist activities, but by labor income - e.g. lump sum from pensions.
2. The plan is profoundly bourgeois, because it doesn’t amount to some kind of redistribution of wealth in favor of the poor of the society, but to a direct value transfer for the bank bailout, for the benefit of bank capital. In fact, the Eurogroup within the monetary union implements the socialization of losses by charging workers and by increasing the debt for the benefit of bankers.
3. The eurozone and the EU have been against the interests of workers from their origins and intertwined with the interests of the Greek capital. The destabilization of the enemy is to our advantage - the dedication of SYRIZA and AKEL to the euro is therefore absolutely absurd.
But we have no reason to believe that the rejection of the plan in Cyprus parliament is a victory for workers either in Cyprus or in Greece. This is not a “heroic no” of “the people of Cyprus”, because:
1. The “people” of Cyprus include not only workers and oppressed, but also employers, the church, bankers and bosses who are trying to dominate the eastern Mediterranean. The government of Anastassiades and the bourgeois parties who voted against the plan do not represent the “people” in general, but the bourgeois classes and their interests, which are also struck by the project and threatened by a collapse of the financial credibility, and, therefore the banking system.
2. The “anti-imperialist” opposition of the Cyprus parliament to the Eurogroup has another side: the pressures of domestic capital, and others equally capitalist and imperialist factors like the EU, such as Russia, the offshore companies, the international deponents. The plan was not only prevented by the massive demonstrations, (although we welcome the increase of militancy of the working class in Cyprus), but also by the pressure of these interests.
3. The Cyprus parliament, before rejecting the “haircut” of the deposits, had no hesitation to vote 32 memorandum-laws, which were proposed by the so-called “left” government of AKEL, and now AKEL dares to ask for a referendum! It is certain that if the movement does not stand massive resistance, the Anastassiades government will soon promote and vote new measures (further cuts in wages and pensions, reductions in public spending and benefits), probably more injustice and bourgeois class oriented than the “haircut” itself. And last but not least, the entire political leadership is trying to get its hands on the 3 billions of reserves of pension funds.
4. The shady role of the Cypriot banking system is infamous. The workers of the island, north and south, have no interest to save this system of ’’black’’ money and "tax haven", which is actually bankrupt and therefore unable to cover deposits. One solution to the interest of the workers should begin on the demand of nationalization of the banks without compensation to a single public banking entity under workers’ control, combined with the unilateral cancellation of the debt and the nationalization of foreign trade, requests objectively leading to the rupture with the EU and the eurozone.
It is a fatal mistake for the Left to praise the national dignity and the determination of the Cypriot government and of the parliament. The only language they know, is the language of the capital and the money. The workers in northern and southern Cyprus, like their colleagues in other countries, have nothing to expect from the so-called anti-imperialist bourgeois parties and international allies. They do not need any common struggle neither with Anastassiades, big depositors and Putin, nor with the EU and with Samaras. Whatever workers are to win, they will only win it with their own independent action.
21 March 2013