Syriza Couldn’t Negotiate The “Bend”. It is High Time for Radical Demands!
On our previous articles concerning Greece, we have said that Syriza is about to enter one of the sharpest bend. Whether Syriza negotiate the bend or not was a curiosity from the point of pre-election demands. However it is now clearly seen that within the boundaries of capitalism saving Greece from the situation it’s in is very difficult and almost impossible.
Syriza`s Pre-election Promises
What was Syriza saying before the election? Syriza`s primary promise was that the debts would be erased partially. Syriza was arguing that public debts should be partially erased. By showing the example of Germany’s debts which approximately half of them were erased and the other half them were converted to long term loan in 1953, Syriza was saying that they would stand up to EU. It was pointed out that it was not impossible for Greece but quite feasible.
Also Tsipras would persist in sitting down with EU to discuss the interest rates for repaying the funds that were taken from Europe and to extend debt maturity. That was one of the primary demands of Syriza because the poor Greek people was fed up with EU as they paid the price of the crisis of EU all the time. That promise of Syriza has a big part in the success of taking % 36.5 of the votes and having 150 representatives in parliament.
Syriza had other important promises too. Free electricity for example. Syriza promised to provide the electricity and heating services to the people that live below the poverty line for free. Another promise of Syriza was food and rent assistance. Syriza was arguing that those who need should be provided food and rent aid.
Another important promise of Syriza was free health care. Syriza has stated that they are going to put a 13 billion Euros plan into action to improve pensions.
Transportation reform was among the promises which Syriza often mentioned before the election. It was foreseen that people who live below the poverty line and have long been unemployed should be given private public transport cards.
Well how would Syriza find funds to fulfill these promises? By taxing the rich people! Syriza was arguing that some taxes that were collected from the rich and were lifted in recent years should be brought back and the income tax threshold should be raised from 5,000 Euros to 12,000 Euros. Syriza has pointed out that they will raise the minimum wage to 751 Euros with the funds that would be gained from these taxes.
Were they able to do it? A big no! Solution suggestions which are intrasystem reformist could provide short term relief and room to breathe. But integration to the system will happen ultimately. That is exactly what is happening in Greece! Today none of those anti system promises that were given before the election are mentioned. Minimum wage would be raised; free transportation and rent aid for poor people would be provided. None of these promises were fulfilled and the process was reversed. To prevent from going into default and to defer some portion of debts, clauses like increment of value-added tax and retirement in grave law which EU imposed have joined in the agenda of Syriza.
Syriza decided to take the law package that is imposed to Greece people and promises nothing except more poverty to referendum. They are still fishing for playing democracy by saying “We consult to people”. Tsipras said: “I expect that people will reject the law package”. Greece people expected the same from Syriza.
It should be pointed out that Greek workers are aware of it all. With tied hand and foot Syriza which had a lot of radical promises before the election is taking the package to referendum. People voted for Syriza so that they will solve the problems. Syriza let the Greek people be weak against EU about the solution of the problems.
At this point we should add that news that were reported today were pretty serious. Greek banks remain standing with the help of ECB. According to news on BBC Turkish, ECB sources have stated that the banks might be closed on Monday in Greece. This situation will certainly drag Greece into a dead-end.
What Should Be Done?
History has proven again and again. Today it is proven in Greece: intrasystem reformist elements cannot solve the problems that capitalism have created completely. Well what can be done in Greece for today? Firstly it is clear that EU and IMF are not the solution. They should take a stand against austerity policies of EU and IMF. Because EU and IMF are constantly dragging Greece people into a swamp. IMF doesn’t want the loans Greece received to be used for poor people. This situation is causing a vicious cycle. While loans that are received from IMF are being used in unproductive fields, poor people are expected to tighten their belts.
Today Greek workers are still suffocating in the capitalist press. It is high time for radical demands and actions! At this point ANTARSYA which is politically on the left of Syriza has a big role to play. In the current situation, the demand of nationalization of the banks would definitely in return among the labors. There is no other solution. All “intrasystem” solutions are used up.
Translation: Uğurcan Çayan