London demonstrators greet Angela Merkel
Several dozen demonstrators gave a noisy welcome to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, when she and Prime Minister David Cameron visited the British Museum in London on 7th January, reports Harry Blackwell. They were protesting against the EU and Eurozone’s economic policy in Greece.
The Greece Solidarity Campaign, which organised the protest at only a few hours notice, is mobilising over the next few weeks against austerity in Greece while the eyes of the world are on that country in the runup to a crucial General Election on January 25th. Among the demonstrators were supporters of the radical left wing Syriza party which is expected to win the General Election and form the next government of Greece. Also present were members and supporters of Left Unity, the French Parti de Gauche, the Green Party of England and Wales and others trade unionists and socialists. A large crowd of onlookers watched as the protestors chanted slogans calling for the cancellation of Greek debts, European wide opposition to the austerity policies of Cameron and Merkel, and support for a radical left government in Greece. Merkel was visiting Britain for discussions with David Cameron at short notice in her role as President of the G7 organisation of powerful states preparing for their next summit in June 2015 in Germany.
The demonstration was the first of a number of actions planned by the Greece Solidarity Campaign over the next few week organised at an emergency meeting two days earlier in London. The next event is on Monday 12th January 6.30pm at the Unite the Union headquarters, 128 Theobalds Road, London (Holborn tube). This will be an important briefing on the election situation in Greece with speakers from Syriza and other organisations. The next protest will be on Saturday 17th January 12 noon at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster – please bring banners. Other meetings are planned and you can keep in touch through the Greece Solidarity Campaign website and facebook page. Encourage trade unions, anti austerity groups and Left Unity groups to support the campaign, invite a speaker and affiliate to Greece Solidarity Campaign.
Contact details here:
Twitter: @GreekSolidarity (nb due to be updated shortly)
British Greens support Syriza
In a further significant development, both the Green Parties in Britain have declared their support for a Syriza victory in the Greek General Election.
The Green Party of England and Wales has declared the following:
Dr Derek Wall, Green Party International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales, has congratulated the Greek Ecologist Green Party on joining the Syriza list for the Greek General Election to be held on 25th January. Syriza, the anti-austerity party, is widely tipped to win the snap General Election on a platform of reversing government spending cuts and privatisation, it is also committed to strong action on environmental policies. The Green Ecologists who are part of the European Green Party will take part in a joint election campaign with Syriza, which could see them join a left green coalition government.
“The decision of the Greek Greens is inspiring”, said Wall. “In just three weeks Greens could be in a government that defends the Greek people from austerity and protects the Greek environment. The Green Party congratulates the Greek Greens and stands in solidarity with their party and Syriza.
“A victory for the anti-austerity forces in Greece could lead to the reversal of disastrous policies that have brought misery to a continent. The Greek Greens and Syriza should inspire all of us who want an end too to Osbornomics, which piles misery on the poorest while making the richest in Britain even better off.” Green Party | Green Party congratulates Greek Greens as they head for government
While the autonomous Scottish Green Party has also issued the following statement:
Scottish Greens Co-Convener Maggie Chapman has welcomed the decision by the Greek Ecologist Greens to join SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, ahead of the Greek general election on 25 January. SYRIZA stand a good chance of winning the election, which is widely seen as a referendum on the austerity imposed by the ‘Troika’ of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. Maggie said:
“The Scottish Greens welcome the decision of our Greek comrades to join SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, ahead of this month’s election. SYRIZA are the party best placed to end the worst cuts, and put Greece back on the road to democracy.
“At our conference last year, the Scottish Greens made clear that we are totally opposed to the austerity being imposed on Greece and other European countries. We stand in solidarity with the people of Greece in their fight for decent lives and against austerity.” Greek Greens join surging left alliance