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Elections in Greece on June 17: rout austerity and the Troika!

Tuesday 19 June 2012, by Izquierda Anticapitalista

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The elections on June 17 in Greece are of fundamental importance, not only for the future of the millions of citizens of that country, but also for all the workers of Europe. Greece has become the laboratory of the ruling classes and of the power of finance in their determination to put an end to all the existing social and democratic rights in order to impose a model of society where only the law of Capital rules.

The results of the elections on May 6 represented a serious setback for the plans of the Troika and the Greek ruling class because they demonstrated the rejection by the majority of the Greek people of the measures of adjustment and of the international blackmail. For two years, the Greek people has fought against the austerity imposed by the Troika (the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank). After 17 one-day general strikes, after hundreds of mass demonstrations and the occupation of public squares, after the occupation of workplaces, the elections showed a massive rejection of the Memorandum and of all the parties - starting with PASOK – who support permanent austerity.

The “bail-out" plans imposed on Greece have only one goal: to ensure the payment of the debt by the Greek state to the banks. The consequences of this policy are brutal: reductions in wages and pensions; destruction of labour laws and regulations; explosive growth of unemployment (which is already affecting 21.2 per cent of the active population, almost 30 per cent of women and 50 per cent of young people); a recession similar to that of 1929-1930 (a drop in GDP of 6.9 per cent in 2011 and, according to estimates, an additional 5.3 per cent in 2012; a drop in industrial production of 4.3 per cent in March, 2012 compared with March 2011…); the destruction of the health care system (137 hospital closures) and the disappearance of one in five five jobs in the health sector, shortages of medicines because of a debt of 1 billion euros….

On 17 June, we hope that the policies of the Troika will again be completely routed at the polls and that the Greek people will remain firm in the face of the blackmail of the Troika. For this, the international solidarity of the peoples of Europe is essential. Greek citizens must know that they are not alone in their struggle against the Memorandum and the dictates of finance capital.

An electoral victory of Syriza and a good result for the whole of the Greek radical Left on June 17 would be a hard blow for the plans of the power of finance. International pressure against the principal force of the Greek Left, Syriza - whether to demonize it or to make it capitulate in its opposition to the Memorandum - are absolutely unacceptable. The fight against the objectives of the Troika requires the unity of all the forces of the Greek Left, i.e. of Syriza, Antarsya and the KKE, to form a majority government that will impose a change of policy based, among other things, on the abolition of the Memorandum and of austerity policies; the expropriation and nationalization of the banking system and a moratorium on the payment of the debt, with an audit to determine the illegitimate part that should not be paid.

What is at stake on June 17 issues concerns us all. If in Greece austerity policies triumph, they will then be applied with the same intensity to Portugal, Ireland, the Spanish state, Italy… If, however, in Greece a popular majority against the policies of the Troika asserts itself in a context of rising social mobilization, this would be a great support in the struggles against austerity policies throughout the European Union.

Reciprocal international solidarity is today more necessary than ever between peoples, workers, social movements and the Left in all European countries. The Greek people has rebelled in the workplaces, in the streets, at the polls, against these barbaric policies. The resistance of the Greeks is our resistance, their struggles are our struggles.

On 17 June, we will all rout the Troika!

No to the Memorandum and the Troika! We will not pay for their crisis or their debt!

13 June 2012