Statement of the International antiEU Forum of left and popular forces
We call for awakening and unity of the all popular, democratic and left forces against the EU.
The tragic capitulation and decline of the Greek government, which is directly linked to the radical left, needs to generate alarms in all popular, democratic and left forces in Europe.
A government that was elected to overturn austerity, agreed on the same or worse austerity measures, after 5 months of "negotiations".
A government that promised to return to the Greeks their dignity and lost popular sovereignty, accepted the ultimate humiliation, such as the dismissal of the Minister of Finance on the Eurogroup on 27/06/2015 and the international humiliation of the Prime Minister at the summit of the Eurozone countries ( 13/07/2015). The most humiliating part for the Greek people was the return of a much more severe and punitive version of the Juncker proposals, which had been rejected with the promissing and combative NO in the referendum of 5th July, a week before!
We should not forget that the government of SYRIZA-ANEL was seen as hope by the struggling people in Europe. But messages of pessimism and frustration finally prevailed, after Tsipra’s capitulation.
As it was stated in the AntiEU forum in Athens on 26-28 June, the underlying deficit of this government is the illusions about the ability to win popular sovereignty and abolishing austerity and memorandums within the EU and especially the eurozone.
This government is currently implementing memorandums in full cooperation with the forces of the right and of neoliberalism (ND, PASOK, Potami) and in complete conflict with the radical and militant left in Greece. Let alone that it opens the way to the fascist Golden Dawn which presented itself as the main force against the lenders.
The popular, democratic and left forces in Europe can not continue as before. We must do away with the illusions and destructive logic of a left that does not understand that the fight against the EU is the most important struggle for the emancipation and progress of the peoples of Europe.
It is crucial in each country to strengthen the fight against the EU. To build the popular, democratic and left front and the movement for exiting the Eurozone as the decisive step in the struggle to secede from the European Union.
We need to increase the internationalist initiatives, coordination and pan-European campaigns against the antidemocratic EU and its super neoliberal –weapon, the euro.
On these needs the International antiEU Forum of the popular, democratic and left forces will take, the next time, the appropriate initiatives.
For an alliance of national liberation fronts
by Stefano Fassina, MP, former Italian deputy minister
We reproduce here an opinion piece by Stefano Fassina, Italian MP and former deputy minister of finance, which appeared on the website of Yanis Varoufakis. He calls for the ordered disintegration of the eurozone in order to save the EU. Given that he was one of the leading figures of the left wing of the ruling PD it is an extraordinary development of utmost importance.
We fully support the demand for the orderly disintegration of the eurozone. Also the reference to positions held in Germany against the bailouts with a tendency to social chauvinist undercurrents (which in difference to Fassina we believe do not prevail) is a correct democratic argument. "If you do not want us we are ready to go." The Euro establishment including dominant Berlin, however, will not accept this as they have no alternative to the eurozone.
Eventually we do not want to preserve the EU (like Fassina does) as we believe that breaking with the Euro regimes going for a left Keynesian programme (which we see as the next step) will require the break with the EU altogether.
We should not forget that the Maastricht treaty as the very foundation of the Euro regime is an outright anti-Keynesian compact.
The burning Greek tale has a general political value. Lets start from the content of the Statement of the Euro Summit held on July 12th, before making any political assessments. It is impossible to hide the unsustainability of the provisions from economic and fiscal perspectives.
Notwithstanding the adjustments won by the Greek delegation in Brussels, the imposed measures are brutally contractionary, as well as regressive on the social ground.
The macroeconomic compensation measures risk to be basically non-existent. The financing foreseen for the third bailout is devoted to recapitalizing banks and paying debts to the ECB, the IMF and private lenders.
Nothing goes to capital expenditure, while the credibility of the European Commission in helping the Greek government mobilize up to €35bn for investments in 3-5 years has to be weighed against its inability to find the minimal resources for the "Juncker Plan". And finally, the commitment to restructuring the Greece’s public debt opens a perspective that in any event won’t have real effects until 2023, the end of the grace period granted by the European states on their respective loans.
What lessons can we learn from the course of Greece? Alexis Tsipras, Syriza and the Greek people have the undeniable historical merit of having ripped away the veil of Europeanist rhetoric and technical objectivity aimed at covering up the dynamics in the eurozone. We now see the power politics and the social conflict between the financial aristocracy and the middle classes: Germany, incapable of hegemony, dominates the eurozone and pursues an economic order that is functional to its national interest and to those of big finance.
There are two points to be faced here.
The first: neo-liberal mercantilism dictated by and centred on Berlin is unsustainable.
The devaluation of labour, in alternative to national currency devaluation, as the main route to real adjustments results in a chronic insufficiency of aggregate demand, persistently high unemployment, deflation, and burgeoning public debt.
In such a framework, beyond the borders of the dominant nation-state, the euro leads to a hollowing out of democracy, turning politics into administration on behalf of third parties and entertainment.
Is this route reversible? This is the second point. Its hard to answer yes. Unfortunately, the necessary corrections to make the euro sustainable appear to be unfeasible for cultural, historical and political reasons. National public opinions have opposing views and confliting positions, made more distant by the agenda dominating in the eurozone after 2008. The views and positions prevalenting among the Germans are facts. German people deserves respect as any other people. In Germany, like everywhere, democratic principles matter within the only relevant political dimension: the nation-state.
The first two points of analysis lead to a unconfortable truth: We need to acknowledge that the euro was a mistake of political perspective. We need to admit that in the neo-liberal cage of the euro, the left loses its historical function and is dead as a force committed to the dignity and political relevance of labour and to social citizenship as a vehicle of effective democracy.
The irrelevance or the connivance of the parties of the European socialist family are manifest. Continuing to invoke, as they do, the United States of Europe or a pro-labour rewrite of the Treaties is a virtual exercise leading to a continuing loss of political credibility.
What should be done? We are at a crossroads of history. On one hand, the path of continuity bound to the euro, that is, acceptance of the end of middle-class democracy and welfare States: a precarious balance of underemployment and social anger, threatened by very high risks of nationalistic and xenophobic rupture. On the other, a shared decision, without unilateral acts, to move beyond the single currency and the connected institutional framework, above all to fix the democratic accountability of monetary policy: a mutual beneficial solution, despite a difficult, uncertain path, with painful consequences at least in the initial period.
Germany has understood this and, still mindful of its history, indicates a way out to avoid a chaotic breakup of the eurozone and uncontrollable nationalistic drifts (already worrisome both among Germans and in their regard): a multilateral agreement to move beyond the single currency, as exemplified in the proposal of "assisted Grexit" written by Finance Minister Schäuble and endorsed by Chancellor Merkel. It implies not abandoning Greece to itself, but "an exit accompanied by haircut of public debt (impossible under the current Treaties) and technical, financial and humanitarian assistance."
The choice is a dramatic one. The road of continuity is the explicit option of the grand conservative-led coalitions and "socialist" executives (in France and Italy for instance). The road of discontinuity may be the only one for attempting to save the European Union, revitalize the middle-class democracies and reverse the trend of the devaluation of labour. For a managed dis-integration of the single currency, we must build a broad alliance of national liberation fronts, starting from the eurozone's Mediterranean periphery, made up of progressive forces open to the cooperation of the democratic right wing sovranist parties. The time available is increasingly short.
Syriza's "Austrity no, Euro yes" based on deception from very beginning
Alavanos on the third bailout plan for Greece
"One third of Greek people in favour of euro exit": Alekos Alavanos was one of the leaders of Syriza and the first to advocate the exit from the eurozone. He later form the movement Plan B.
Journalist [Mrs Xenakis]: Mr. Alavanos, you 'welcomed' the Brussels agreement with harsh characterizations. You spoke about "betrayal of the people. "Now, after some days, I would ask you if you insist in this very sharp thesis and why?
Alavanos: In the referendum, the question was clear: Yes or No to the plan Juncker. And the message of the people was clear: a sweeping NO. A week after, the government signed the Tsipras Memorandum, which is much worse than the plan Juncker. Let's imagine something very similar: while, in the 1974 referendum, the people of Greece had voted against the king, a week after Konstantine returned not just as a constitutional king but as emperor. If this is not treason, then what is treason?
J: Many say that what succeeded Mr. Tsipras was the best he could in the current conditions.
A: I hear government officials to say that they have experienced a "coup." All of us we know that during the 1967 coup of colonels the Left was the first to resist, paying heavy price, fighters lost their lives, tortured, exiled, imprisoned. It is completely absurd in which way the leadership of Syriza tries to defend itself speaking about a "coup" of the Germans and others. Their behaviour was perfectly predictable, they have done the same with Papandreou in Cannes, in 2011. When Sarkozy had caught him by the collar.
J: Had the prime minister another option in front of so many reactions, and what consequences would has produced this other option for Greece?
A: The whole policy of SYRIZA from 2012 onwards, when they abandoned their position "the euro is not taboo" is based on a cynical lie: We can abolish austerity and the same time stay in the eurozone. This led to a policy agreeable for large sections of people because it did not involve ruptures, but it was a policy totally unrealistic. This policy, for which the party of Syriza bears full responsibility, would necessarily lead to "cloudy Sunday" of 7/12.
J: Yet, even after this Third Memorandum, prime minister seems to enjoy the confidence of a large part of his party but also even the tolerance of the opposition ...
A: Do not jump the gun. The people is confused after the latest events, they feel a big disappointment because the hope and encouragement of the first few weeks of Syriza governance develops into a wild situation with the third memorandum. Let them think.....
J: You are of those who believe that the prime minister get carried away by Mr. Varoufakis? He gave him great freedom of movement, while not supposed to do that?
A: Certainly persons play an important role, especially in periods of negotiations, during which are required intelligence, resourcefulness, seriousness, ability to make alliances and mostly clear objectives and an alternative plan. The jerky movements, the Scottish shower, to say other words out of the country and other words within the party, the absence of clear policy and plan b were not typical features of only a governmental player but overall government policy.
J: You know very well the Left. Do you expect to be developments that will lead to fragmentation?
A: I expect the very opposite. I think finally, unforgivably late indeed, that a social current, which in surveys appears between 30% to 40%, could be expressed through a united front of the people for the liberation of our country from the eurozone, for salvation and reconstruction, for the right to work.
J: What do you believe about the national consensus government scenarios?
A: "National consultation" already exists. The ruling majority consists at this very moment of a part, the larger, of Syriza, the far right of ANEL, New Democracy, PASOK and the River party. We have already gotten a taste of the bitter fruit. A taste perhaps even more sour than we had with the national unity of DIMAR, another party of left origin, ND and PASOK. The experience of Greece shows that the euro devouring each party which supports it, even when operating in conditions of national unity.
J: Do you think Mr. Tsipras will try to make a turn toward center-left and become a leading figure in this space lacking leadership?
A: I don’t believe that it is possible not only for left but even for center-left nor for social democratic policy. The euro, the debt and the memorandum impose ruthless policies in a society that thirsts for jobs, decent income, adequate health care, quality education.
J: You were the first politician who talked about the need to return to the national currency. Do you still believe that Greece should move toward national currency, despite in the polls the majority of people say that the euro is the only way?
A: Unfortunately you are right in what you say about the people. You know, every dominant economic and political class has a dominant narrative. When this class is on rise this narrative is positive, as was the case with the old Karamanlis in the 1980's and the European project. When this class collapses its narrative becomes negative, and it is trying to instill terror regarding the alternative. So, we hear incessantly, from Barack Obama to [very known Greek tv journalist] Paul Tsimas, that the exit from the eurozone will go us back to the Stone Age. The people, however, processing of their new experiences and they are released. With regard of this alternative, we, as Plan B, don’t assert any primacy. But we have our conscience quiet, because we have outlined, in a significant extent, the steps of an alternative government policy outside of the eurozone, based mainly on valuable studies of "Dimitris Batsis Institute".
Appeared first in "Parapolitika" (18/07/2015), translated by Adriadni Alavanou.
Source of Documents : Anti Imperialist Organisation
SEE ALSO : http://democracyandclassstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-tenacity-of-free-market-ideology.html