Greece: the exit from the crisis is on the left

Below we publish 10 demands put forward by Syriza as the basis for their campaigning in the run up to the May 6 elections to make these more widely available to an English speaking audience

1) Formulating a shield to protect society against the crisis
Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing and access to all services of public utilities.
Protection and relief measures for the indebted households.
Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.

2) Dispose of the Debt Burden
The debt is first and foremost a product of class relations and is in its very essence inhumane. It is produced by the tax evasion of the Rich, the looting of public funds and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.

We are asking immediately for:
Moratorium of debt servicing
Negotiation for debt cancelling, with a provision for social insurance funds and small savers’ protection. This is to be pursued by exploiting any available means such as audit control and suspension of payments.
Regulation of the remaining debt with clause provisions for economic development and employment.
European regulation for the debt of European States.
Radical change of European Central Bank’s role.
Prohibition of speculative banking products.
Paneuropean tax on wealth, financial transactions and profits.

3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and abolishment of unnecessary expenses
Reorganization and consolidation of tax-collecting mechanisms.
Taxation of the fortunes over 1 million Euros and large-scale revenues.
Gradual increase, up to 45%, of the tax on SAs distributed profits.
Taxing financial transactions. Special taxing on consumption of luxury goods.
Lift of the tax exemptions of ship owners and of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Lift of Banking and Merchant confidential, hunt down tax evasion and social insurance contribution evasion.
Banning of transaction carried through off shore companies.
Quest for new resources via efficient exploitation of European funds, via the claims on the payment of the German occupation loan and of German World War II reparations and finally via the steep reduction of military expenses.

4 Productive, Social and environmental reconstruction
Nationalisation/ socialization of the banks and integration of them in a public banking system under social and worker’s control in order to serve developmental purposes. The scandal of the recapitalization of banks must stop immediately.
Nationalization of all public enterprises, of strategic importance, that have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the provision of Public Goods.
Protection and consolidation of the SME’s of the social sector and co-operatives.
Ecological transformation of the developmental model. This includes a transformation in the sectors of energy production, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. All these sectors are to be reformed under the criteria of nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.
Development of scientific research and productive specialization.

5 Stable employment with descent wage and social insurance
The constant degradation of labour, coupled with the embarrassing levels of wages does not attract any investments nor development or employment.
We are calling for
Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.
Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and of real wages within three years.
Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.
Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.
Systematic confrontation of lay-offs and labour relations deregulation.

6. Deepening Democracy. Democratic political and social rights for all.
There is a democratic deficit in the country.
Greece is gradually transformed into an authoritarian-police state.
We are calling for:
A refoundation of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary power within the political system. Instigation of a proportional electoral system. Separation of Powers. Revoke the Law for ministerial Responsibility and abolishment of the MP’s economic privileges.
Real decentralization and local government with sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.
Introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management under worker’s and social control at all levels. Measures against political and economic corruption.
Foundation of democratic, political and trade union rights.
Enhancement of women and youth rights in the family, in work and in public administration.
Speed up the asylum process. Abolition of the Dublin II regulation and granting of travel papers to immigrants. Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection.
Democratic reform of public administration with the active participation of civil servants.
Demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coastguard. Disbandment of special forces.

7. Powerful Welfare State
The anti-insurance laws the close-down of social services and the steep fall of social expenditures rendered Greece a country where social injustice reigns.

We are in need of:
An immediate programme of rescue of the pensions system that will include tripartite financing and gradual return of the pension funds portfolios into one public, universal system of social insurance.
A rise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches the 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment benefit. Introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the vulnerable social strata.

8 Health is a Public Good and a social right
Health is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:
Support and upgrade of hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of first level medical care.
Stop lay-offs , cover the needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment.
Free and costless access to medical treatment for all the residents in the country.
Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for the low-pensioners, the unemployed, the students and those suffering of chronic diseases.

9. Protection of Public education, research, culture and sports from the Memorandum’s policies.
In what regards education we are calling for:
Consolidation of universal, public and free education. Coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels. Compulsory 14 year unified education.
Revoke of Diamantopoulou Law. Consolidation of self-government of the Universities. Preservation of the academic and public character of the universities.

10. Independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of Peace.
The adaptaion of our foreign policy to the exigencies of the U.S and the powerful states of the EU endangers the country’s independence, peace and security.
We are in need of
A multidimensional and peace-prone foreign policy
Disengagement from the NATO and shutdown of the foreign military bases.
Termination of the military cooperation with Israel.
Aiding the attempts of Cypriot people to reunite the island.
Furthermore on the basis of international law and on the principle of peaceful conflict resolution we will pursue a solution to the Greek-Turkish relations, a solution to the problem of FYROM’S official name and an identification of Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The incumbent economic and social system has failed and we must overthrow it !
The economic crisis rocking global capitalism has shattered the illusions. All the more people witness that capitalist speculation is an inhuman organizational principle for the modern society. It is also unanimously shared that that private banks function only for the benefit of the bankers harming the rest of the people. Industrialists and bankers absorb billions from Health, Education and Pensions.
The exit from the crisis entails bold measures that will obstruct those who create it from continuing their destructive work. We are endorsing a new model of production and distribution of wealth, one that would include society in its totality. In this respect the large capitalist property is to be made public and managed democratically along social and ecologic criteria. Our strategic aim is socialism with democracy, a system in which all will be entitled to participate in the decision-making process.

We are changing the future we are making them past
We can win them, by forging unity and creating a new coalition for power with the Left as a cornerstone. Our weapons in this struggle are the alliance of the People, the inspiration, the creative effort and the struggles of the working people. With these we will shape the life and the future of a self-governed people.

Now the vote is to the People! Now People have the power!
In this election the Greek people can and must vote against the regime of Memoranda and Troika, turning, thus, a new page of hope and optimism for the future.

For Greece and for Europe, the solution is with the Left

    • Vicki, you can find this Program in Greek on the SYRIZA website. As well, you can see its English translation on the “SupportLeftCoalitionGovernmentInGreece…” Facebook page. It is basically as printed above.

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