Greek socialist organisations merge

Socialist Resistance has sent greetings to two Greek socialist organisations which are merging at their conference this weekend and we will be publishing a report in the near future.

Socialist Resistance sends our revolutionary greetings to your conference and we congratulate the comrades of KOKKINO and of the DEA on their fusion into a single revolutionary socialist organisation. The far left worldwide has long been hampered by division and disunity, and every step to reverse this is of vital importance at both the national and the international level. Your unification, moreover, will make you a far more effective force in the remarkable period of bitter class struggle through which the Greek workers movement is passing.

We also want to congratulate both organisations on their long term decision to be a part of Syriza and for the struggle you have both conducted to make it as effective as possible in the current crucial period in Greek politics. We look forward to the role you will continue to play as a united organisation.

Nor could your fusion have come at a more important time. As your conference takes place Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is attempting to conduct an election for a new President. If this fails the result will not just be a fresh election but the trigger for one of the most important election campaigns in modern European history. Syriza, a party of the radical left, with an anti-austerity programme, could be in a position to form a government.

Such a government would be the most left wing government elected in Europe since the Popular Front Government in Spain in 1936. It is a prospect that strikes fear not only into Greek ruling class but into the European and international elites as well, as was shown by the reaction of the stock markets to the prospect of an early election. In the event of a Syriza victory their aim would be to bring such a government down by any means that their disposal in the shortest possible time. This means that the defense of a Syriza government will not just be a matter for Syriza itself and for the Greek workers movement, but it will be a test for all who consider themselves socialists across Europe.

The defeat of such a Government would open the path to Golden Dawn, as an openly neo-Nazi organisation, and that would strengthen the reactionary forces and the far right across the continent. It will also be a test for the left across Europe, in particular other broad parties of the left such as Left Unity in Britain, to build solidarity with a Syriza government. This will need to take the form of both a hands off Syriza campaign and the construction of networks of political and material support.

Such solidarity already exists in Britain in the form of the Greek Solidarity Campaign (GSC), in which we are involved. The GSC has built links with the labour movement in Greece and has sent a number of solidarity delegations to the Greek trade union movement. It also has a Medical Aid to Greece campaign. The need for solidarity, however, will escalate dramatically in the event of a Syriza Government.

Finally, since an internationalist perspective is crucial, we hope, as the section of the Fourth International (FI) in Britain, that the new organisation that comes out of your conference will continue to have a close relationship to the FI as was the case with both of the original organisations.

1 Comment

  1. The left should certainly be in favour of Syriza’s leadership forming a Workers Government.
    But it’s simplistic to imply that the election of Syriza would mean there was one.
    That would depend on what it did in power, whether it was in a coalition and if so, with whom.
    (it’s no secret that Tsipras recently held a meeting with Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of the Democratic Left)

    The slogan of a Workers Government implies that:-

    (1) Syriza and its allies should set up a government that is independent of the capitalist parties
    (2) This government immediately takes measures to redistribute wealth in the interests of the working class.

    (the Spanish Republic didn’t fulfil either of these criteria, so it’s misleading)
    Should the international ruling class try to sabotage such a government, it would need to take the necessary measures to defend itself.
    These might include nationalisation, debt default and controls over currency movements.
    But as long as this only a remains hypothetical possibility, Tsipras is right to stress negotiations.

    Greece’s debt is huge -$240 billion. So it will be hard for Syriza to do anything other than say “yessir” to the EU, ECB and IMF.
    By comparison, Poroshenko’s government in Ukraine was promised a mere $17 billion.
    For this paltry sum, it appointed an official of the US State department as its finance minister!

    Syriza’s promise to “cancel austerity and the memorandum” and create a “national reconstruction and development plan” are therefore likely to be given very short shrift by the international bankers.
    Tsipras may want to negotiate with them and reach a compromise, but he will have very little room to manoeuvre.

    This places great responsibility on the left wing of Syriza and the left wing parties outside of it to get it right. Unfortunately there is no information about the basis upon which Kokkino and DEA fused, so no way of judging whether they’re any nearer to this than they were before.
    (Unprincipled fusions usually take place at the expense of political clarity)

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